12,000 rapid test kits received

12,000 rapid test kits arrived in PNG yesterday on board the Royal Australian Air Force C27-J plane.

Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner, Caitlin Wilson, was at the Jackson’s International Airport to formally receive the supplies and hand them over to Minister for Health and HIV, Jelta Wong, for the PNG Government distribution and use.

The shipment also included 380 more GeneXpert tests; the first batch of which arrived last week. Over 1000 cartridges have now been provided.

The flight also brought four Australian Defence Force personnel who, after completing 14 days of isolation, will contribute to the already substantial effort by Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program to support the Papua New Guinea Defence Force prepare for and mitigate any outbreak.

In handing over the equipment, Deputy High Commissioner Wilson said: “This delivery marks a major additional contribution towards PNG’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. It has been made possible through strong cooperation and goodwill between the PNG and Australian defence forces, and our two governments.”

Receiving the supplies for PNG, Health Minister Wong said: “PNG acknowledges the important support Australia is providing towards our preparedness and response for COVID-19, and we are pleased to continue to work in partnership to tackle this crisis.”

The supplies are part of Australia’s wide-ranging package of support to the PNG Government to prepare for and respond to COVID-19, which already accounts for over PGK67 million reprioritised from existing commitments.

(PNG and Australian officials at the Air Transport Wing to receive the medical supplies. From left: Deputy Head Australian Defence Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Murray Heron, Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Jelta Wong, Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner, Caitlin Wilson, State of Emergency Controller, David Manning, and Deputy State of Emergency Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala)

Press release