COVID-19: Urgent action needed in conflict zones

Hasten readiness of testing facilities, directs Governor

After visiting Rita Flynn facility and Gerehu General Hospital yesterday, Governor Parkop said he was not satisfied with the preparedness of the establishments.

“As Chairman of our Provincial Task Force Response Team and Governor of our city, I am giving a direction now that we put all effort to have the facility at Rita Flynn to be able to accept a small number of potential patients by tonight. We cannot delay any further,” he stated.

Yama defends PNGDF engagement on COVID-19

The PNGDF engineers were in the province under the Government’s sanctioned project, the Madang-Baiyer road.

They operate out of Iome in Middle Ramu and Songaram in the Madang district.

Governor Yama clarified that the involvement of PNGDF engineers in the COVID-19 with the Response Team is not illegal as claimed.

He said it is the same arrangement in which the PNGDF element have in the last rotation where they were used for the natural disaster during the Manam Island volcano relief effort.

Madang prepares to contain COVID 19

Governor Peter Yama made the bold move to declare a 14-day lock-down in the province prior to the Government’s State of Emergency announcement.

Head of Madang Province COVID -19 Response Command Center, Dr Juith Gawi is greatful to the Madang Governor taking that step to put Madang on lock-down immediately after the announcement of the first coronavirus case in PNG.

A checkpoint has been set up along the North Coast highway in Bogia, to screen emergency patients coming from the district.

Aust commits to tackle COVID-19 with Pacific

Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, says it is a challenge the Australian government is committed to tackling with its Pacific partners, in the long-term interest of the stability, prosperity and resilience of the region.

“Prime Minister Morrison told G20 leaders on 26 March that the Pacific needed to be a focus of international support. As the world’s economies, large and small, grapple with a pandemic that does not recognise national borders, cooperation will be critical,” she stated.

Public warned not to use chloroquine

Dr. Garry Nou, Incident Manager from the NCD Provincial Health Authority warned the public that the medicine is currently on trial in the US and only be used if successful trials are done.

The announcement came after the media raised questions during a press conference earlier this week that people have been buying chloroquine for self-medication at home.

Tax relief measures announced

In a statement released on March 31st, the Commissioner General, Sam Koim, said “in the face of this crisis, we are immediately responding to keep the taxpaying community’s productive capacity intact as much as possible. Figuratively speaking, we have to keep the cows alive so that they continue to produce the milk after this crisis”.

“Although we as a country have so far been saved from this virus, we are inescapably vulnerable to the impact it will have on our economy.  We are not oblivious to that hence these measures to supplement the Government’s overall stimulus package.

Trade Store owners to receive passes

Central Governor, Robert Agarobe, said color coded passes will be issued by the Provincial Police Commander with his signature.

Governor Agarobe said under the current lockdown only trade store owners with licenses and permits to operate will be issued passes to travel into Port Moresby and back.

“Passes to be issued by Provincial Police Commanders with colour coding which is orange, and the PPC’s original signature. Without the PPC’s signature, you cannot travel.

Aust HC arrives early for COVID-19 response

He arrived in Port Moresby on March 21st to commence his appointment.

The High Commissioner is engaging with the PNG Government and PNG leaders via phone for his first two weeks in PNG and has reinforced Australia’s continued commitment to PNG’s long-term development priorities to Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Patrick Pruaitch, and Treasurer, Ian Ling Stuckey.

Abau District in lockdown

Central Governor, Robert Agarobe, said a Rapid Response team was dispatched on March 31st to a logging site where the ‘Persons of Interest’ were located.

Governor Agarobe said the ‘Person of Interest’ were tracked to Bam,  Abau District.

It is understood they are expatriates working at a logging site in the Cloudy Bay area.