Update: Number of Covid-19 cases in Papua rise to 301

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The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in West Papua has risen from 137, as reported on 23 April, to 301 cases as of 6 May 2020. In Papua province a total of 248 cases had been reported. So far, 63 patients have recovered while 178 are been treated. Although the death toll has remained the same, seven have died from COVID-19 in Papua province, the number of cases is increasing fast. The majority of Covid-19 cases were found in Jayapura and Mimika Regency. On 5 May 2020, the Provincial Government of Papua renewed its emergency response status for 28 days, from 7 May to 4 June 2020.

In Papua Barat 53 persons have tested positive as of 7 May 2020, most of these COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the Regencies of Sorong (12), Raja Ampat (14), Teluk Bintuni (11), and Manokwari (6), and the city of Sorong (9). A total of ten have died due to the virus, most of them in Sorong city.

In Papua province, the regency of Mimika with its capital Timika and the Freeport mine are the most affected areas. Quick tests were carried out on 300 people there resulting in 110 positive-testing individuals, from which 85 are employees of the Freeport mine. However, the mine continues to operate full time as before. The reason given for this is that there are not enough options to isolate those who test positive. In total, just under 1000 tests have so far been carried out in the province of Papua. If the results of the Timika's rapid tests are taking into account, the number of infected people might be significantly higher than the official figure of 248 cases.

Dr. Silvanus Sumule, Papua Covid-19 Task Force Spokesman, informed via Video that there are only seven lung specialists and 60 ventilators in the province of Papua. Otherwise, it is known that the medical infrastructure there is very poor. Besides, there is not enough protective clothing for the medical staff.

Since March 22, 2020, social contacts in the provincial capital Jayapura have been restricted. However, cars, motorcycles and traders are in the streets as they were before the restrictions. And although worship services are prohibited, they are taking place on a regular basis. Moreover, hardly anyone wears a mask in public.

Table with number of Covid-19 Infections in the Province of Papua as of 6 May 2020, segregated by Regencies

Town Covid-19 cases Hospitalized Recovered Deaths
Mimika 92 76 13 3
Jayapura Municipality 53 29 21 3
Jayapura Regency 38 27 10 1
Nabire 16 16 - -
Merauke 13 3 10 -
Keerom 11 9 2 -
Biak Numfor 11 11 - -
Sarmi 4 1 3 -
Jayawijaya 3 1 2 -
Memberamo Tengah 2 1 1 -
Boven Digoel 3 2 1 -
Superiori 2 2 - -
Total 248 178 63 7