Manning was responding to comments by Namah claiming that the announcement on the first COVID-19 case in Vanimo is fake.
Manning said the patient in Vanimo was tested at the Sandaun Provincial Hospital through the geneXpert machine and the results were formally transmitted to the National Control Centre health technical team for announcement.
Dr Stella Jimmy, Director of Curative Health at the Sandaun Provincial Health Authority, confirmed that the patient was tested positive for COVID-19. She said the patient is being moved into an isolation facility.
“Whilst we respect the rights of our leaders to speak on matters of public interest, we request that leaders get the official information and not hearsay so that we do not mislead the public. My statements are released based on official information I have received from the Sandaun Health leadership through my health advisory team,” Manning countered.
He said from medical advice given, the patient had mild symptoms and health authorities determined that it was alright for him to self-isolate.
“This is only done on a case-by-case basis and following clearance by health and medical advice,” Manning stated.
He again strongly warned citizens that COVID-19 is not a hoax and urged all not to listen to hearsay and misinformation and adhere to the health and medical messages to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
Manning also welcomed the decision of the opposition leader to refer the Pandemic Act 2020 to the Courts for interpretation.
“That is his right as a leader and citizen and is part of our country’s democratic process to ensure our laws passed are in accordance with our constitution.
“The Pandemic Act 2020 was passed by Parliament and is operational however, I will leave the legal arguments to our State lawyers in our respected Courts of Law to arbitrate on.”