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Mass burial to relieve overflowing Papua New Guinean hospital morgue

Papua New Guinea authorities have approved a mass burial to ease the pressure on Port Moresby’s hospital morgue where bodies are stacked on top of each other as COVID-19 cases surge, reports The Guardian. Refrigerated containers have also been installed to store more bodies.

The burial of more than 200 bodies comes as health teams countrywide report being attacked while carrying out vaccination programmes.

National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning has authorised the burial of 200 bodies out of more than 300 at the morgue that was built to cater for only 60, The National newspaper reports. The PNG capital is expecting a national lockdown this week to try to reduce coronavirus deaths in a city where 99% of COVID cases admitted to hospital are unvaccinated.

National Health Board deputy chair Mathias Sapuri said a two-week lockdown was the only way to control the pandemic’s surge. “The virus stops moving when people stop moving,” he said.

PNG has officially confirmed 26,731 coronavirus cases and 329 deaths but it is believed numerous cases and deaths are going unreported in the nation of 9m where vaccination hesitancy is a major issue, and less than 1% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Last week, in the second largest city, Lae, community health workers were harassed during a mobile awareness and vaccination drive, with locals throwing rocks, and chasing them with sticks.

Hospitals are running out of supplies and manpower and are scaling down services to deal with the outbreak.


The Guardian article – Mass burial to relieve overflowing Papua New Guinea morgue as Covid cases surge (Open access)


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Vaccine hesitancy — one of the world’s top 10 health threats


SA and world COVID deaths 3x higher than official figures — The Economist


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