ENB on 21-day lockdown

East New Britain will now be on lockdown for the next 21 days following the confirmation of a COVID-19 case in the province.

Prime Minister James Marape, when making the announcement this afternoon, said domestics flights from ENB to Port Moresby were scheduled to resume but because of ENB’s case, specific operation orders will be issued by the SOE Controller to the provincial authorities.

“They will be implemented by the provincial police commander as well as the provincial administrator and provincial health authority CEO on the ground as to the exact orders in relation to the 21-day shutdown of East New Britain. That includes no travelling in and out of East New Britain by sea, by air or by land.

“But for me, it signals to our country that we must still be vigilant,” stated PM Marape.

“And so the other areas of our country where the flights are being restored, there are forms that those who’ll be travelling in will be expected to fill. Just like you fill forms when you’re going overseas; your name consistent with the name on your ticket, what is your place of residence in your arrival destination, your contact addresses, if you’re a visitor coming in for a short time, what is the purpose of your visit? You must have two-way ticket travelling into Port Moresby, or travelling to Lae or travelling elsewhere.

“Those protocols will be put in place so that we remain informed on who is travelling in and around the country for us to ensure we do backtracking if someone has come into contact with the virus.

“It will cost some element of inconvenience to our travelling public and citizens but as I said, the price of a little bit of inconvenience goes a long way to ensure our country is safe from this pandemic that has every potential to wipe out quite a big section of our country if we are not careful.”

Carmella Gware