ENB Observes Containment Strategy

There is no lockdown for East New Britain, it will however, go on a 14-day containment strategy, which will depend on its people ‘Doing The Right Thing’.

Provincial Administrator and COVID-19 Provincial Committee Chairman, Wilson Matava released several circulars this week outlining key areas of the containment plan for businesses, wards, LLGs and schools.

Schools were also reduced to three days a week, all main markets closed and business hours to start from 7am to 4pm. Curfews kick in 6pm to 5am for the next 14 days starting today, Friday October 29 and runs until Sunday November 14.

These were the same measures improved in 2020 and early 2021, which included bans on social gatherings, and curfews to control movement after dark. These measures are aimed at controlling community transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Mr Matava said it is no longer the responsibility of the government but everyone for their safety.

He said there was evidence of community transmission with particular hot spots in the towns of Rabaul and Kokopo and parts of the Gazelle district.

Statistics from the Provincial COVID Advisory Committee showed a spike in recent weeks of COVID-19 infections. It was averaging three cases a day since May and then five cases and jumped to 12 cases daily in September.

In recent weeks, at least 25 cases are reported daily. As of Wednesday, October 27, there were 20 more cases.

Mr Matava said the current stats are worrying and the government is desperate to curb the spread of the virus and getting its people to do the right thing and help slow the spread.

So far, 1689 cases were reported in ENB, of that 1389 people recovered. Sadly, 15 lives were lost to COVID-19.

Currently 285 are active with the virus, 11 from this figure are hospitalised with almost 25 reported cases daily in the recent weeks. That’s a frightening rate, according to the authorities.

“These are people that had done the test. Imagine that figure could be for those that did not do swabs, do not know their status but are living among us.

“A total of 615 health workers had been infected, recovered and re-infected with at least 20 currently in isolation.

“Our hospitals as usual have chronic issues and those aren’t going to be resolved tomorrow,” according to the Committee.

Meantime, ENB has in stock 8000 doses of vaccines that are FREE for its people. To date 6545 people have been vaccinated of its 420,000 estimated population. Of those, 2219 have had their two doses.

There are three response teams in Gazelle, Rabaul and Kokopo and many of the members in isolation are for COVID-19 infections. Hospital hotlines are also listed, St John Ambulance is on 111.

The Provincial Committee has assured the province that all three vaccines are available and everyone can get vaccinated.

“Vaccines are free and are available to all. If you do not want then please adhere to the COVID Niupla Pasin Protocol without fail.

“There are current debates on ‘No Jab No Job’. ENB government position is on voluntary vaccination for its population and employees have the right to choose to be vaccinated or not,” Mr Matava said.

He said the private sector has a role to protect its workers and the government agencies have responsibilities as well over the wellbeing of its people.

“So seek help if you feel you are being discriminated over the much debated No Jab No Job policy. Offices like the Ombudsman Commission and Labour Department could be your first contact.

“One thing for sure, COVID is never going away, we live in small communities. Our hospitals chronic shortages of everything is never going to be fixed and that government could only do as much,” Mr Matava added.

He said the people must be responsible to keep safe against COVID.

“We must do everything necessary to be safe. The simple one is to follow the Niupla Pasin Protocols.”

Loop Author