Calls for public protests unjustified, says Manning

The Commissioner of Police and Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response, David Manning, said calls for public protests over the recently released pandemic measures are unjustified.

Manning said certain individuals and interest groups with ulterior motives are making these calls over social media but there is no basis as the domestic travel measures have not changed.

“We simply included an additional category to Schedule 1 of Measure 3, which now enables those who have been vaccinated to travel whenever and wherever they wish domestically.

“Other travelers will need to fit one of the five categories for domestic travel. So in effect, the measures for domestic air travel have not changed. People must know and understand that we are living in a global pandemic. Close to 183 million people have been infected and almost four million people have died from COVID-19 globally. Therefore COVID 19 restrictions are a necessity.

"We are returning to the 'New Normal' or Niupela Pasin. The government is and continues to act responsibly. But before we can ever hope to return to normalcy, certain things need to be accepted and self-imposed.

“We have made significant progress in bettering our public health system, ensuring and encouraging compliance to the Niupela Pasin, and general adjustments to living with COVID-19 amongst us.

“From the outset, our response has been guided by best practice and lessons learnt. Now is not the time to play politics, nor is it the time to push individual desires and agendas. Desperate and deluded conspiracy theorists and failed politicians need to be reminded that we are an easily impressionable people. And as such, they need to be aware of the impact of their personal views and agendas. Do not prey on peoples’ naivety, nor ignorance, because it just exposes your desperation and single mindedness and self-serving agenda.

“I ask the public to carefully examine those people and groups who are pushing the agenda for strike action or protest marches. Ask them what is their motive."

Press release