Western Province

Western Province reports 18 new cases

This brings the country’s total confirmed positive cases to 419.

The death toll for the country remains at four, all from the National Capital District.

The 18 new cases reported are all from the Western Province bringing its total confirmed cases to 143, the majority being 140, are from the Ok Tedi Mine.

The mine shut down its operations two weeks ago when seven of its employees tested positive to COVID-19, and the mine township of Tabubil went into a 14-day lockdown.

OTML medivacs man with severe burns

Gat, who is in his 50s, endured three nights of excruciating pain after both his feet were severely burnt when he collapsed and fell into a fire on Friday 12 June.

Gat suffers from epilepsy, a medical condition that has affected him since he was a child. He said, while still lying in his stretcher waiting to be transferred to an ambulance at the Tabubil airport that it was most likely epilepsy that caused him to collapse.

PNGDF personnel boost border surveillance

From the PNGDF headquarters, the Rotary Wing detachment arrived in Kiunga yesterday in two helicopters.

“We’re inserting troops into Obo and Suki. It’s part of our normal support to our four settlements in the border province,” stated Major Douglas Vavar. “But it’s also part of the state of emergency operations. These are our efforts towards the whole-of-nation fight against COVID-19.

Over 1,000 masks sewn for district

They are part of a group that the PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited – Aerial Health Patrols (SDP-AHP) brought together last year, to help start a textile business.

With one goal in mind, these women worked until they ran out of the large stock of material supplied by SDP.

Siyaleyato Andrew from the Living Torah International Ministry was in her village when she first heard of the Face Mask Sewing Project.

OTML sets-up COVID-19 screening station

The station began operation on Saturday 11th April and will screen all commuters entering Tabubil.

The station was opened on Friday 10th April by Western Province Deputy Provincial Administrator and Chairman of the province’s COVID-19 Taskforce, Michael Viru.

Also, in attendance was Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector Silva Sika, and representatives from OTML, Tabubil Hospital and the community.

Western yet to receive PPE's

In the fight against Covid-19, the PPE kits is the prerogative of the National Government to purchase and have it sent to all provinces.

Member for North Fly James Donald said there is an imminent threat that the virus may find its way across the border, and has called on the government to give Western province a priority.

“Ol Personal Protective equipment blong ol wok man blong yumi, mi no lukim yet long Western Provins, olgeta haus sik long Daru, Balimo, Kiunga, mipla no kisim yet.

Western Province support SOE

They made this announcement in a press conference yesterday afternoon.

The K5.5 million will be used by the Western SOE team to run Covid-19 awareness, support border surveillance by the joint police and military forces, establish quarantine and isolation facilities at the Kiunga and Daru hospitals and to maintain law and order issues in the province in the midst of the state of emergency.

With a landmass of 98 thousand square meters, the first strategy the Western province SOE team is doing is to make people aware.

West Papuans call for help

The group includes men, women and children.

The West Papuans, from Boven Digoel village, are currently in North Fly District.

Pictures of the West Papuans who crossed over were shared with this newsroom by a reliable source on ground.

Michael Pius said the people began crossing the border in November.

Pius, who is from a mixed parentage of Western Province and West Papua, said their safety in West Papua was not guaranteed because state security cannot protect them.

He said they felt their lives were in danger and so fled across the border.

Locals report fuel shortage in Kiunga

Locals in Kiunga have confirmed that two fuel stations at Pajawi and Kiunga have run out since the beginning of this month.

Aron Bale, who is a resident of Western Province, attributed the situation to the continuous dry spell that has caused the Fly River stage to decrease, preventing cargo ships from anchoring at the port.

“No more PMV services are provided because there’s no fuel and it’s really hot in Kiunga Town area and surrounding villages,” he said.

The prices of store goods and bus fares have also tripled, forcing locals to spend more.

Police confirm killing of two Chinese men

Provincial Police Commander for North Fly command, Silva Sika, said the victims had been operating shops in the Lake Murray area for some months when they were killed.

The reason behind the killings is yet to be established.

PPC Sika said the three suspects, believed to be from Hela Province, were captured and are now in police custody.

Fourteen police personnel, including CID from the North Fly district, assisted police in Middle Fly to apprehend the suspects.

The suspects are now at the Daru police station lock up, awaiting court mention.