Navy and test teams for border

PNG Defence Force Navy ships and Rapid Repsonse Test Teams will be deployed to the beef up security and medical monitoring at PNG’s land border.

Prime Minister James Marape said the security and medical measures are being deployed to ensure the land border shared with Indonesia prevent traditional and illegal crossing.

The deployments are in line with the extended State of Emergency for two months in response to the growing number of COVID019 cases around the world.

Prime Minister Marape, said following the special Parliament sitting to extend the SOE, they have gone full steam into beefing up security and medical monitoring at the PNG Indonesian border.

For security two PNG Defence Force Navy Ships will deployed. This is in addition the deployment of 30-soldiers.

“We have relocated our two defense navy ships, one will be at Vanimo, another one at Daru. And we are relocating or activating our police patrol boats in those areas, and we will be very much having a strict patrol in our border areas.

“There is no time for traditional border crossers, I apologize for causing inconvenience but you are asked to stay in country. Those who are caught in country will announce a hefty fine, if you are caught crossing the border, there is a hefty fine for you.

Rapid Response Test Teams have also been dispatched to potential hot spots areas with testing areas to be established as well.

“We have also dispatched rapid test response teams to these key border areas in partnership with out police and defense and thy have taken posts in Daru as we speak, they have taken posts in Vanimo, Kiunga and Wewak. And we are also doing sampling of tests and preparing to ensure they are actively have controlled tests, identifying and stopping the virus from creeping into our borders.”

Prime Minister Marape has spoken to the Indonesian President and Australian Prime Minister to conduct mutual border security measures.

“And I spoke last night (April 2nd) at 8:32pm with the Indonesian President. President (Joko) Widodo was asked to help police border on his side, and I’ve committed to policing border on our side, in our joint effort to fight and prevent corona from crossing countries.

“I’ve also continued my conversation with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and he is doing his fair share on the Northern Queensland border.

“And jointly myself, President Widodo, and Prime Minister Morrison, haver committed to ensure we police our borders from people crossing borders illegally, or crossing border traditionally, so that once we take stock of coronavirus as three nations mature in how we deal with corona, then we can address and allow for traditional crossers to still cross,” said Marape.

The Prime Minister said he will travel to visit the border posts next week.

Cedric Patjole