SYDNEY: Staff from Papua New Guinea's (PNG) Department of Health along with experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), will travel to the country's Highlands region on Wednesday to investigate the deaths of 35 people who are believed to have died from infections.
With 11 deaths reportedly last weekend, Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu told local media on Monday that he believes a state of emergency should immediately be called at the Goroka Hospital where the deaths took place.
While it has not yet been confirmed what the deadly infection is, it is believed at least eight casualties have come from Klebsiella disease, an infection with highly resistant to common antibiotics.
With the pressure on PNG Health Minister Elias Kapavore to make an emergency declaration, he said this is usually caused by a lack of proper infection control adherence at hospitals and they can not make any declaration yet.
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"We still need to confirm it (from) multiple sources, involving invasive clinical procedures," said Kapavore.
"As long as the hospital provides a consistent and rigorous implementation of infection prevention and control measures, it can stop."
"The combined WHO and the health department teams will investigate it (today) and recommend containment measures," Kapavore added.