Air force is taking enough medical equipment to treat a thousand Covid cases, as Papua New Guinea heads into a lockdown to combat a worsening outbreak.

New Zealand will deliver to Papua New Guinea enough medical supplies for a thousand Covid-19 patients, as the pacific nation heads into a lockdown to combat a worsening outbreak.
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced on Friday that an Air Force Boeing 757 would fly out on Saturday with personal protective equipment (PPE) for Papua New Guineas health system.
New Zealand would also make $250,000 available to its High Commission in the country to help with the response to the outbreak.
New Zealand is very concerned by the worsening COVID-19 situation in Papua New Guinea, and have agreed to assist where we can … We are providing support to the government of Papua New Guinea as it identifies and responds to emergency needs created by the pandemic,” Mahuta said in the statement.
Hanuabada, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
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A Covid-19 outbreak in Papua New Guinea has grown increasingly severe in the past week. On Friday, RNZ reported the death toll had risen to 31 deaths, and the confirmed cases of the virus had neared 2,500.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape announced earlier in the week that the country would enter a national isolation strategy from Monday. Australia, concerned about the spread, has said it would provide 8000 AstraZeneca vaccines to the country.
Mahuta said the delivery included hand sanitiser, google, biohazard bags, sterilising tablets, shoe covers, sharps boxes, thermometers, swabs, and face shields.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 will head to Papua New Guinea with PPE supplies on Saturday.
New Zealand had already allocated $6 million for Covid-19 related support for Papua New Guinea in the past year, Mahuta said, money that would go to budget support, and medical supplies and equipment.
Our thoughts are with the people of Papua New Guinea who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and in particular the whnau of the people who have tragically lost their lives, she said in the statement.
Victoria University Centre for Strategic Studies senior fellow Marion Crawshaw, a former New Zealand high commissioner to Papua New Guinea, said there appeared to be a real need for PPE in the country.
But dealing with the outbreak would likely require ongoing assistance, including the provision of Covid-19 test kits and vaccines.
What will be interesting is to see what the needs are going forward and what further support we can offer, she said.
The situation seems very focused on whats happening in Port Moresby and thats obviously a big concern … but Im also reading things saying that the health system in the provinces could get overwhelmed very quickly, and Im sure thats true.