COVID-19 pandemic

Christians celebrate Easter Sunday

In Port Moresby, residents turned up at their respective churches to celebrate the historical day.

Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday of April every year where Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This day occurred over 2,000 years ago on the third day after Jesus’ burial.  

Christians all over the world and Papua New Guineans have been observing the Holy Week.

Sir Kenneth Branagh to star as Boris Johnson in new series on Covid-19 pandemic

This Sceptred Isle will chart the terrifying events that marked the first wave of the ongoing pandemic, which has infected almost 100 million people worldwide. 

Johnson, 56, has faced intense scrutiny for his handling of the health crisis, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March last year. Covid-19 has particularly ravaged the UK, a country dragged through a series of restrictive lockdowns in a desperate bid to curb transmission.

WHO concerned at ‘growing perception’ COVID pandemic is passing

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at the regular Geneva briefing that progress on vaccines, in recent days, “gives us all a lift, and we can now start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

He praised the United Kingdom’s emergency authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech rollout which is due to begin next week, describing it as “an important scientific step for the world”.

Pacific Heads of Customs administrations pledge to work together

At the conclusion of the OCO Heads Annual Conference on October 20, themed “Working together to build a safer Blue Pacific”, leaders of Customs administrations in the region stated the loss in revenue collection for their governments due to the closure of borders as their biggest cost of COVID-19.

However, in addition to generating revenue for their governments, Customs administrations are increasingly being presented with other challenges such as the rise of illicit drugs, contraband goods and having to crew quarantine centers.

People protesting against COVID-19 lockdown arrested in Melbourne

Officers said the "most significant activity" took place at the Queen Victoria Market where protesters chanting "freedom" were met with a heavy police presence.

The demonstrators at one point linked arms as they were surrounded by police officers.

Scuffles broke out as arrests were made.

A Victoria Police spokesman said there were between 200 and 250 people involved in the protest activity, and 176 were fined.

Nations heading in wrong direction with COVID-19, says WHO

Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "too many countries [were] headed in the wrong direction".

Cases were rising where proven measures were not adopted or followed, he added.

The Americas are the current epicentre of the pandemic. The US has seen a rise in cases amid tensions between health experts and President Donald Trump.

The US, the worst affected country, has over 3.3 million confirmed cases and more than 135,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

What has the WHO said?

No saliva to shine the ball in cricket

Several other interim measures designed to ensure the safety of players and match officials have been ratified by the ICC Chief Executives Committee -- including allowing home umpires in international series.

International cricket will resume next month when West Indies face England in a three-match test series.

The tourists arived in Manchester today and will go into quarantine before the first game scheduled for July 8th.

Additional K8m for COVID-19 response

Made available through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this brings the total U.S. government assistance to nearly K12 million ($3.5 million). 

USAID awarded K6 million (USD $1.75 million) to FHI360 to support clinics in the National Capital District, building capacity on infection prevention and control, supporting facilities, expanding testing capacity, establishing response teams, upgrading WASH facilities and facilitating contact tracing.

COVID-19 pandemic affecting commodity prices

Central Bank Governor Loi Bakani said this will affect the revenue for government and foreign exchange inflows into the market and to BPNG.

He said PNG, being a price taker, cannot do much about commodity prices.

Mr Bakani also stressed that even domestic tax and customs revenues will be lower given the slowdown of economic and business activities and an increase in jobs loss.

He explained that the only alternative source is external financing.

COVID-19: Pacific Community Updates

Globally, nations are taking actions to reduce and control the spread of the virus. 

Between 31 March and 03 April 2020, 36 new cases have been confirmed in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).

As of 03 April 2020, 6 countries (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), Papua New Guinea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam and New Caledonia) in the PICTs have reported 153 cases including 4 deaths, excluding the number of cases from USS Theodore Roosevelt currently docked in Guam.