Politics | Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19

NZ provides PNG with urgent support following surge in Covid cases

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New Zealand is providing support to Papua New Guinea following a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a statement.

Minister Mahuta said New Zealand is "very concerned" about the worsening situation in the pacific island country.

“New Zealand is committed to supporting our Pacific neighbours through these unprecedented times. We need to look beyond our own borders in the fight to eradicate Covid-19,” she said.

The Foreign Minister said New Zealand would support the Papua New Guinea government respond to the emergency needs created by the pandemic. PPE (personal protective equipment) remained a priority as the health system feels the pressure, she said.

A New Zealand Defence Force flight delivered PPE from Auckland to Port Moresby on Saturday. The PPE kits comprised hand sanitiser, goggles, biohazard bags, Milton sterilising tablets, shoe covers, sharps boxes, infrared thermometers, swabs, gloves, gowns, surgical masks and face shields sufficient to treat 1,000 Covid-19 cases, Minister Mahuta said.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Papua New Guinea who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in particular the whānau of the people who have tragically lost their lives,” she said.

The latest World Health Organisation figures report that Papua New Guinea has had 2,790 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 36 deaths.