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#PNG #COVID-19 UPDATE, Tuesday 17: Military put on alert as PNG announces further restrictions

#EMTVonline: The Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) has been put on alert as the the health Minister formally declared the COVID-19 as a “quarantinable disease” under the country’s health laws.

Yesterday, the the National Security Council met to discuss additional control measures in light of the worsening crisis in Australia and surrounding countries.

Today, Prime Minister, James Marape announced that overseas flights from Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Sydney and Nadi will cease as of Sunday next week and there will be controlled entry from Brisbane, Cairns and Singapore.

“We are now scaling down flights next week…We have now put the military on standby to assist if a first case is established. Their medical facilities and officers (doctors and engineers) will be engaged for now and future pandemics.

“They have given us the Taurama Medical center and 10 medical personnel for use,” Prime Minister, James Marape said.

Through a Government Gazettal notice, the Health Minister, Jelta Wong, listed a series of actions supported by existing quarantine legislations stating he was satisfied that the magnitude of the pandemic warranted the measures.

The list of countries that fall under the 14 day pre-entry quarantine include 27 European member states. Australia, where the majority of expatriate mine workers come from, has been excluded.

“The following countries are proclaimed places under section 12(a) of the Quarantine Act 1953 and are infected with quaratinable disease being COVID-19: People’s Republic of China (ony including mainland China), South Korea, Iran, The European Union, United Kingdom and the US.”

1 comment on “#PNG #COVID-19 UPDATE, Tuesday 17: Military put on alert as PNG announces further restrictions

  1. Craig Bui Mana

    During the two weeks lock down we need to do a trail or trace-check on those whom the COVID-19 Virus Career has been associating with for possible contraction of the virus. The PNG-RI Land Border must be monitored closely. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for soldiers, policemen, medical staff, as well as pilots, drivers and other emergency staff is a MUST HAVE rule and cannot be left undone. There is some 3000 plus people considered as Persons of Interest (POIs) that have flown into PNG over the last three months from affected countries. Immediate priority should be to track them and test them against the COVID-19 Virus. Any crowd of more than 100 people must be enforced as of now Tuesday (24/03/20). A nationwide awareness on the DOs and DONTs to will be greatly needed to ensure the grassroot population remain vigilant and keep abreast of what actions to take and what actions not to take. Spreading false alarm and unconfirmed stories will only cause more panic and pandemonium among the unsuspecting populace because of PNG’s low literacy level and some people are reactive to unfounded stories. This is called perception management and the media fraternity is well aware of its roles during this lock down period so any disaster communications to the public is treated with due care and consideration so that perceptions do not create undesirable consequences. The Christians have considered a prayer and fasting two week which should be encouraged nation-wide so that we stay in our homes and pray and I believe God will heal this land of the COVID-19. This is a testing time for the Government and people of PNG where patience, respect and greatest degree of caution needs to be taken both at the personal levels and collective levels. Some choices we make could mean life or death so its important that those managing information and leadership by the National COVID-19 Response Center must leave no stones unturned. PNG’s prevention measures if taken seriously now will save the population. God bless PNG.

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