Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Trial period for schools

Prime Minister James Marape made this known during yesterday evening’s COVID-19 briefing.

He stressed that schools will ‘live and operate’ with the protocols as primary and secondary school classes resume on May 4th.

“And if we see those protocols are breached, or if we see that corona (virus) is now affecting all our schools in our country, then before Parliament resumes on the 2nd of June for SOE to be dispensed with, then we will have enough information on hand from the control point perspective to make an informed decision.

Time for a Pacific Community

“Even the two largest economies in the region, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, do not have the fiscal space to provide immediate recovery packages for businesses to survive or income support to those facing unemployment,” says former Professor of Economics and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of the South Pacific, Biman Chand Prasad.

From positive to negative test results

This means a person whose initial test result shows the presence of an infection, can later get a negative result after a period of time.

The State of Emergency controller, David Manning, emphasised that those who have COVID-19 are most likely to recover. His statement supports that of the Deputy SOE Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala, who recently said 80 percent of those infected will be cured.

ENB lockdown relaxed

Roadblocks at the Kuradui junction to Vunatagia, Bitabaur and Vunamurmur wards were removed as of the weekend while random tests at Raluana, Ialakua and Barovon continue.

According to the controller, restrictions to the remaining three wards will be lifted once more tests are cleared.

However, he said police will continue to maintain roadblocks on the Kokopo-Rabaul route.

The SoE controller’s latest announcement was a huge relief for the local farmers in ENB who have been suppressed by the SoE restrictions.

Marape commits portion of salary to ‘helpim wantok’

Making the announcement on his Facebook page yesterday, Marape said: “For those of us employed, I am initiating a PM’s ‘Helpim Wantok’ charity for this effort so please join me if you can afford.

“I am directing half my salary and allowances into that account to help those who are in need in these trying times,” he stated.

“I will start by buying food from farmers and growers in Central Province and those in Morobe for Port Moresby and Lae cities as first urban areas to assist and help.

Five COVID-19 cases confirmed today

Marape said these test results were from the PNG Institute of Medical Research in Goroka, where he personally verified the information with the institute’s director, Professor William Pomat.

“Three are from Western Province, they are established as traditional border crossers,” the PM said in a media briefing at Manasupe Haus.

Ol sa muv go kam lo said blo yumi lo Papua Niu Gini go long West Papua.”

Those border crosses infected include a 12-year-old boy, a 30-year-old man and an adult female whose age is yet to be established.

Governor cancels event due to large turnout

Over a hundred people living at Erima Wildlife came together to witness the opening of the market facility yesterday.

Parkop refused to open the facility, saying the large crowd of people was a breach of the social distancing regulations under the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

“So gavman wokim disishen, em i no isi long mipla. Mipla tokim yupla long noken maket, em ino isi long mipla. Mipla tok long social distancing ya, ino isi long mipla.

“Now polis em bai arestim yumi olgeta.”

PM: It’s not a joke

While Papua New Guinea has a very low number of cases, the world is still battling this deadly virus.

Prime Minister James Marape stressed that COVID-19 should not be taken lightly, urging Papua New Guineans to always keep their guard up.

“Koronavaires em grow yet lo displa graun,” stated the PM. “Ova 1.9 milien manmeri long displa graun i gat displa sik korona. Em i kilim pinis 119,588 manmeri long displa graun. Klostu lo ples blo yumi o insait lo rijen blo yumi, 121,426pla man o meri i gat sik korona.”

ENB COVID-19 case: Second test result negative

The deputy state of emergency controller says they were not surprised with this result as she was already on the road to recovery.

In this afternoon’s COVID-19 briefing, Dr Paison Dakulala said according to the process of the infection, the 40-year-old East New Britain woman was already improving when testing was conducted.

“That is an assurance and the person is well,” said Dr Dakulala. “And when we get the other test again, we will declare her as normal or no longer having the infection and that’s it, she’s part of anyone else, like you and me.”

ENB stands together

Districts and communities in East New Britain continue to turn up with truckloads of food in support of their sister villages who are in lockdown.

PNG’s first local COVID-19 case in East New Britain has brought its people together as the true Melanesian Way was demonstrated since the case was confirmed by Prime Minister James Marape on April 6th.