The deadly novel coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak got detected at a second mine located in Papua New Guinea after an employee at the Lihir Mine owned by the Newcrest Mining Ltd was tested positive for the virus.

The 30-year-old male, who flew in from Port Moresby at the end of July, is among 26 confirmed cases reported on Sunday by the National Pandemic Control Centre in the capital Port Moresby. The island nation has now reported a total of 214 coronavirus cases and three deaths. The Lihir mine case was detected during a routine screening process for all incoming workers who have to observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival on the mine site.

COVID-19 in Paua New Guinea

Image for Representational purpose only

It comes after PNG's Ok Tedi copper and gold mine suspended operations for at least 14 days from Wednesday after seven workers tested positive for the novel coronavirus. While the number of cases in PNG are still low compared with many other countries, they have jumped sharply over the past few weeks. "This is a critical time for all of us," National Pandemic Response Deputy Controller Paison Dakulala said in a statement.

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 19.6 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 727,000 people worldwide in more than 170 nations.

(With agency inputs)