Attackers of COVID-19 POI, patients warned

Under the State of Emergency Act, severe penalties are in store for individuals who are harassing or attacking persons of interest or COVID-19 patients.

During the COVID-19 update this afternoon, Prime Minister James Marape did not mince words when issuing a warning to especially social media users who were relentless in their attack towards the East New Britain woman and even her province.

“The penalty that comes to those who commit that offence, under the state of emergency period, are higher than normal penalties that are afforded to similar crimes in normal circumstances,” Marape said.

“So I appeal to our citizens, today is not the time in which we accuse one another, or we are reckless or we are hurtful to one another, including those who are affected by this virus. Let us care for them the Melanesian Way; pasin blo ples lo lukautim narapla narapla mas kick in.

Yumi lukautim each other in this time of trial and in this time of testing that our nation is going through.”

The Prime Minister further applauded ENB for stepping up and responding promptly to the situation.

“They turned out to be more civilised than most. They accorded good care to this lady; they’ve responded very well and that is the sort of attitude right across our country we must have,” said Marape.

“Someone who turns up being infected and returns a positive test is not a threat to society. Government will zero in, our health care will zero in and accord decent, recovery treatment to those who test positive. And we are prepared to deal with it as we go into the two months in our effort to contain corona from not entering our country, and eliminating corona amongst us.”

Carmella Gware