State of emergency declared

A nationwide 14-day state of emergency has been declared by Prime Minister James Marape.

In a press conference today at the Morauta Haus, Prime Minister Marape said the Police Commissioner will take charge assisted by the PNG Defence Force.

Starting on Tuesday, the 24th of March, all domestic flights will be stopped for the next 14 days, including the movement of PMVs from one province to the next.

Only approved cargo and medicine, and police and military personnel will be moving. Additionally, the seven day ban on international flights started today.

Schools will be taking their first term holiday starting Monday, 23rd of March. The holiday will run for 2 weeks while non-essential staff of business houses and organisations will remain at home.

The PM said utility services will still run.

“We are also having 22 provincial response units set up. The provincial administrator, the provincial police commander (PPC) and provincial health authorities on the ground are contact persons within the provinces whilst our national hotline is 1800 200.”

Meantime, Marape said the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) will be out to ensure the prices of goods and services are controlled.

Carmella Gware