Morobe leaders urged to tackle PMV issues

Route 4 PMV Association chairman, Kopen Vaibang, questioned why the province’s mandated leaders are turning a blind eye to the daily struggles of public transportation.

“Where is the leadership of this province?

“Mi kolim Tutumang blo Morobe, PEC blo Morobe na honourable Ginson Saonu, mi kol lo em lo lukluk na adresim displa issue. Issue blo transport ino nau nau. (I call on Morobe’s Tutumang, provincial executive council and honourable Ginson Saoun, please address this issue.)

Illegal Rise In Bus Fare

Executives of the association have reported that passengers are being charged K3 to commute between Bumayong and Lae city.

Morobe’s PMV route 4 covers Finschhafen, Bukawa, Nabak, Bumayong and PTC.

Route 4 PMV Association chairman, Kopen Vaibang, explained that prior to the December 22nd notice of PMV and taxi fares, issued by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, it used to cost Lae residents 70 toea to commute within the city. 

Teachers Rush For Leave Fare

Over 1,000 teachers in Morobe Province have been joining the queue at Tutumang Haus since Tuesday, hoping to get their leave fares quickly so they can spend Christmas at home.

By 5am today, a line had already formed outside the small education office, with teachers coming from as far as the Huon Gulf district, Tewai-Siassi, Markham and Menyamya.

Tempers flared as they pushed and shoved to get in front of the small door where the provincial administration officers were seated.

Morobe Reports 85 Deaths

In its situation report dated November 20th to 24th, the Morobe Provincial Health Authority reported 84 active COVID-19 cases for this month.

From the cumulative total of 2,427, 2,342 have recovered.

For cases per district:

  • Lae – 1,776
  • Bulolo – 167
  • Huon – 137
  • Nawaeb – 96
  • Finschhafen – 94
  • Usino-Bundi – 51
  • Markham – 43
  • Tewai-Siassi – 26
  • Kabwum – 21
  • Menyamya – 16

Vaccination update

Morobe’s new Grade 8 exam measure

Morobe provincial education advisor, Keith Tangui, said this is to create space for the students who will be sitting for their exams starting on the 25th of October.

“Students will use all the classrooms to sit separate from each other,” he explained.

“That’s already been endorsed.”

Tangui said this measure aligns with the new normal protocol of social distancing, as well as ensures that the Grade Eight students are not disturbed by those in the lower grades.

Teachers infected, no graduations

Provincial program advisor for education, Keith Tangui, said the three primary schools are Omili in Lae, Erap in Nawaeb district and Menyamya.

He said three teachers in Menyamya primary have contracted the virus, including a Grade Seven student.

“Omili we have got one teacher who was infected with COVID-19, including Erap,” stated Tangui.

Tangui said head teachers have already started contact tracing, where persons of interest will be isolated.

“Those who are suspected of having COVID will be transferred down to the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium to get tested.

Conform or face arrest: ACP

Assistant Commissioner of Police for Northern Command, Peter Guinness, is urging people to wear masks when out in public spots.

By now, Papua New Guineans should be aware of the new normal, or niupela pasin, where we are expected to mask up when in public spaces, cough or sneeze into our elbows and maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from each other.

In an interview on Monday, ACP Guinness said COVID-19 cases are still on the rise.

J&J vaccine rollout for Morobe

The province is continuing the administration of AstraZeneca vaccine while a new batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, developed by Belgian firm, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, are scheduled for next week.

Chief executive officer of the Morobe Provincial Health Authority, Dr Kipas Binga, said staff training will be conducted this week before J&J is rolled out.

“Remember, the J&J is just one shot while the AstraZeneca is two shots,” he stated.

Video highlights climate crisis

On Ormot Island in the Morobe province, the islanders share the impacts of the shrinking islands due to the rise in sea level.

Ormat Islander Sipora Nargara said, “We are islanders. We live on fish and there is no fish where they wanted us to resettle. We are not used to life there.”

In Milne Bay, provincial disaster officer Steven Tobessa said the province has over 600 small islands and atolls. He anticipates locations for these islanders in the near future.

Focus on Salamaua

Residents are encouraged to visit the Huon district and enjoy the breath-taking natural wonders such as waterfalls, go snorkeling in the clear-blue water or trek up the mountains.

Spending money in the community keeps it circulating within the province. Ward 16 councilor, Philemon Tomala, said locals have seen the potential and are now working to get setups, similar to Buagong Lodge, in place.

“We’re just about to come into, tap into that area as well,” Tomala stated.