Controller approves return of Chinese workers

National Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning, has given approval for 175 Chinese citizens to return to PNG to complete major government projects around the country.

Manning said these are important construction managers and workers of major Chinese state owned enterprises engaged on major government infrastructures, including a hydro power station, major provincial airport redevelopments, major highway constructions as well as the construction of the new National and Supreme Court building.

He said these workers were stranded since the outbreak of COVID-19 and need to get back to complete these projects, which are funded by various international finance institutions, including the Asian Development Bank.

“The funding will be cancelled should we fail to complete these projects on time for whatever reason. We do not want this to happen as these are important projects that will have a positive impact on our people and country.”

He outlined that the 175 persons will, upon their return, undergo 14 days of quarantine in designated hotels in Port Moresby and will also be required to do a mandatory seven-day medical check before flying into the country.

“They are not trade store workers or visitors. They are important contract workers and will be here for six or more months. We will take all necessary precautions to ensure that we do not put our people at risk.

“We will ensure they are put through a stringent testing regime and quarantine protocols which we have insisted they undergo prior to coming to PNG and upon their arrival.”

The Controller said the country must get back to normalcy again with as little disruption as possible, adding businesses and the economy must recover and work such as these major government infrastructure developments must continue.

Press release