NIP Gov’t Defers Elders Meet

The 12th Council of Elders Conference scheduled for October 21-22nd has been deferred indefinitely due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

New Ireland Governor, Sir Julius Chan made the difficult decision after he was given a brief from the Provincial COVID-19 Task Force.

He said: “After weighing the extent and implications presented, the safety of the people is important and although the Elders were looking forward to the event, the decision had to be made in the best interest of all New Irelanders.”

The directive also covers the grand opening of the Tinkoris Medical Centre, which Sir J and the people were looking forward to celebrating on the 29th of this month.

Acting Provincial Administrator and Controller of the Provincial COVID Task Force, Moses Taram, when briefing the COE committee members, said COVID-19 measures issued during the initial occurrence of the pandemic would be reintroduced.

Meanwhile, according to the latest statistics released by New Ireland Health Authority there have been 553 COVID cases recorded since 2019 in the province. Of these, 548 have recovered, while four have died and two admitted to the hospital.

Provincial Health Authority CEO, Dr Joachim Taulo, said the Kavieng Hospital does not have the capacity to take on more than six patients at a time.

He said key problems include a lack of supply in testing kits, manpower for specialised care and services and the lack of oxygen tanks, should there be a surge in COVID numbers.

The public are being urged to get vaccinated and follow the COVID-19 measures including social distancing.

Godwin Eki