David Manning

Police officers called to put country first

“We are in a national health emergency which threatens our people so I challenge our officers to continue to be committed and loyal,” Manning said following queries whether police men and women engaged in the SOE were to be paid allowances.

“There was never a commitment to pay any allowances except for those that were deployed to other provinces for COVID-19. Money is a big issue and our priorities are in the health sector in terms of PPE and testing.

Manning signs contract as Commissioner of Police

Governor General Sir Bob Dadae signed Commissioner Manning’s contract together with seven other heads of departments and agencies for a term of 4 years at the Government House in Port Moresby.

The ceremony was witnessed by Secretary of Department of Personnel Management, Taies Sansan and Foreign Affairs Secretary Barbara Age.

After the swearing in ceremony, Manning thanked the Marape-Steven Government for having the confidence and giving him the mandate to command the Police force.

Classroom attendance ‘optional’

When giving a rundown on the relaxation of certain SOE restrictions, Controller David Manning said tertiary institutions have recommenced this week while secondary and primary schools are set to start next week.

“However, if I can remind all parents and guardians, that this is optional – to either allow your children or those under your care to attend classes as of next week Monday,” Manning stated.

“Let me again remind you all that COVID-19 is here to stay. To stop it from spreading, it will not kill you to follow simple health measures.”

SOE Controller lifts restrictions

These include the reopening of flights into East New Britain, resumption of public transport, and amendment of the curfew in NCD, Central and Western Province.

In a statement issued, as of 6pm April 24th, all:

·       Flights restrictions into and out of Rabaul are lifted and the Port of Rabaul to be re-opened as a designated international shipping port.

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.

Frontline responder tests positive for COVID-19

The person has since been isolated and quarantined. Contact tracing has begun, including places visited and persons contacted.

“The person is well at this moment. But as a best practice health and safety response, we have locked down the Joint Agency Task Force National Operations Centre to carry out testing of all our staff,” Manning said in a statement released just now.

“I call upon the people of NCD, Central and PNG to remain calm. We have identified a positive case. All measures are now being taken to trace all persons who have come into contact with this person.

Valid air travel reasons outlined

Manning said whilst measures are in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, consideration is also being given to citizens who wish to travel by air.

Under this emergency direction, valid reasons for air travel include:

Vessels, aircrafts to be seized if in breach of order

He made the announcement yesterday at the National Operations Centre at the Morauta Haus. This emergency order will be implemented immediately.

Manning said ‘designated goods’ such as betelnut, wild betelnut and any other perishable items, may be seized and destroyed during routine roadblocks or searches of vehicles by authorised officers.

Termination of workers to be investigated: Controller

The direction came after the Labour Department received reports that a number of establishments laid off workers against an understanding of the Tripartite Working Committee Agreement made last week.

Manning urged employers to show some understanding in this difficult situation and allow the government to discuss and see how best to address the issue of businesses and employment and the welfare of citizens.

Police prep for COVID-19 response

“The police force will be at the forefront to combat this disease together with the Department of Health and other line responsible agencies so we have to be prepared,” Commissioner Manning said, adding that he is sending out circular instructions to all commanders to initiate their own local business continuity plans in anticipation of the pandemic reaching PNG.

“First and foremost is the education of my members on the disease, its symptoms, ways in which the disease can be contained or prevented from spreading and how my members will be able to protect themselves.