Papua New Guinea is pummelled by a Covid tornado


Papua New Guinea is pummelled by a Covid tornado

Health system buckles as dozens of hospital staff fall ill, courts and government offices forced to close

Kirsty Needham

Rapidly increasing Covid-19 infections in hospitals in the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) were hitting its fragile health system “like a tornado”, with services shutting as staff fall ill, health workers said on Wednesday.

Australia said it would send 8,000 vaccines to its northern neighbour, responding to a request for urgent assistance for the country’s small health workforce of 5,000 nurses and doctors.

David Ayres, country director with Marie Stopes PNG, which has nurses in 13 hospitals, said health workers throughout the country were falling ill. He had received multiple reports from hospitals on Wednesday that between 10 and 25 staff were sick and off work. ..

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