East New Britain

ENB lockdown relaxed

Roadblocks at the Kuradui junction to Vunatagia, Bitabaur and Vunamurmur wards were removed as of the weekend while random tests at Raluana, Ialakua and Barovon continue.

According to the controller, restrictions to the remaining three wards will be lifted once more tests are cleared.

However, he said police will continue to maintain roadblocks on the Kokopo-Rabaul route.

The SoE controller’s latest announcement was a huge relief for the local farmers in ENB who have been suppressed by the SoE restrictions.

Emulate ENB, citizens urged

In times like these, the Melanesian ‘pasin’ must take centre stage.

While the country has five new COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister James Marape says there is no need for panic or anxiety. Instead, the country can learn from the way East New Britain reacted after a case was confirmed and villages went into lockdown.

Emotional news for ENB woman

She was relieved that the result was negative while a heavy burden was lifted off her shoulders when all her contacts were cleared of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“That was my biggest worry; sitting and waiting for my contacts’ results,” said the health volunteer and advocate.

“I was very much relieved and grateful to God that they hadn’t contracted it.

ENB COVID-19 case: Second test result negative

The deputy state of emergency controller says they were not surprised with this result as she was already on the road to recovery.

In this afternoon’s COVID-19 briefing, Dr Paison Dakulala said according to the process of the infection, the 40-year-old East New Britain woman was already improving when testing was conducted.

“That is an assurance and the person is well,” said Dr Dakulala. “And when we get the other test again, we will declare her as normal or no longer having the infection and that’s it, she’s part of anyone else, like you and me.”

ENB stands together

Districts and communities in East New Britain continue to turn up with truckloads of food in support of their sister villages who are in lockdown.

PNG’s first local COVID-19 case in East New Britain has brought its people together as the true Melanesian Way was demonstrated since the case was confirmed by Prime Minister James Marape on April 6th.

Samples collected in ENB for testing

In his update, Health Minister Jelta Wong said preliminary report received has identified 28 close contacts among family members, workmates and health workers, with nine of them as persons under investigation.

Three rapid response teams composed of epidemiologists, doctors, nurses, infection prevention and control specialists, logisticians and other personnel have been deployed to ENB.

Five ENB villages locked down

Since the confirmation of the first case yesterday, police moved to lock down the Raluana LLG villages of Ialakua, Baravon, Unamurmur, Vunatagia and Bitabaur.

ENB provincial police commander (PPC), Joseph Tabali, told this newsroom that the 40-year-old woman, who is from that area, has complied with their instruction to remain in her house, while her village and four others have been closed off. 

“No one is coming out to go to Kokopo or Rabaul,” said PPC Tabali. 

Govt yet to pinpoint origin of COVID-19 transmission

In a media briefing this afternoon, Police Minister Bryan Kramer said the 40-year-old developed flu-like symptoms on March 19th, where she received antibiotic treatment from the Nonga General Hospital.

ENB on 21-day lockdown

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.

ENB public servants warned

The warning was issued by the SOE Controller and Provincial Administrator, Wilson Matava, during a special meeting of all LLG presidents and LLG managers in East New Britain last week.

And they have been further warned to deliver reliable and correct awareness material to the community, to ensure people in the villages are better educated on issues relating the COVID-19 pandemic.