Coronavirus 2020

No case of coronavirus in PNG: Health Minister

“PNG is considered high risk of importing the disease into the country and because of our limited capacity and resources, the risk of spread is high in the event that the virus enters the country,” the Minister said in a statement released this afternoon.  

The Minister said the National Department of Health has activated its preparedness and response mechanisms and has put in place the following measures:  

Health workers recruited to man airport medical station

In a press briefing this morning, the Department of Health’s executive manager of public health, Dr Daoni Esorom, said: “We are working with the National Airports Corporation – they’ve got a private medical service provider at the airport. Currently we’ve discussed with them to continue that service so when inbound passengers come, they’ll just have to deliver the service whilst we’re ramping up our support.”

Dr Esorom said they are recruiting health workers now and by tomorrow, all of these response will be scaled up.

ANG bans PNG-bound passengers from China

This was the message from Air Niugini general manager - commercial services, Dominic Kaumu.

“As of last night, based on advice from the Health Department, Air Niugini has instructed its offices in Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore,” said Kaumu.

“Further, passengers are encouraged to use the quarantine setups in these airports. The airline will do further risk assessment tomorrow on the virus.”

More updates to follow. 

(Loop file picture of the Jackson’s International Airport)

Minister calls for close surveillance following ‘coronavirus’ deaths in China

This follows reports of an outbreak of a never-before-seen virus called ‘coronavirus’, which has been detected in Wuhan, China, and has claimed over 50 lives.

According to China’s National Health Commission, apart from the reported deaths, almost 2,000 Chinese citizens are suffering from a pneumonia-like illness.

“As the Minister responsible for the government agency that manages the movement of international travellers into Papua New Guinea, it is important that the Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) impose some restrictions,” stated Minister Nukundj.