State of Emergency 2 month extension measures in brief

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PNG National Parliament unanimously voted in favour to extend State of Emergency (SOE) for 2 more months as part of the government’s response to stop COVID-19.

The 14 day lockdown began 23 March, ends on April 6. New measures are now in place for the next two months of the SOE. 

Here are the measures in brief:

PM Marape had a media conference on Friday 3 April 2020 with SOE Controller David Manning and Acting Health Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala.

SECURITY MEASURES IN PLACE:

  • Manning: Current restrictions on international flights remain
  • Strict protocols to facilitate the uplifting of foreign citizens essential to assist PNG fight against COVID-19
  • Quarantine facilities have been identified and are being developed.
  • Security measures include:
  • Resumption of domestic flights as of Tuesday 7 April for Pom, Hagen, Lae, Madang and Rabaul
  • Sale of alcohol will be restricted to major outlets only
  • All schools to remain on Easter Holidays. Term 2 commencing on 27 April 2020
  • Public transport to resume on Tuesday 7 April with restrictions
  • The current provincial road blocks to remain in place
  • All essential services will continue to travel including fuel, food, medical supplies, equipment and essential service employees
  • Isolation facilities will be established in all provinces
  • COVID-19 testing commenced Friday in Pom and Lae airports and seaports for passengers & staff
  • Rapid Response Teams today tested 8 in Daru, Vanimo, Kiunga and Wewak. Samples to be tested in Pom
  • Strict penalties in place for any breach of SOE Emergency Orders
  • Manning: “The SOE is in place to ensure the safety and health of our people whilst we enter a new way of life under the COVID-19 restrictions. The RPNGC and PNGDF will continue to patrol and attend to all security and crime issues within PNG and along the common border areas.”

HEALTH MEASURES IN PLACE:

  • Dr Dakulala: PNG Health Department now ramping up screening and testing efforts
  • Team of 32 from Health Dept and PNGDF commenced rapid response testing in all the seaports and airports in the country
  •  Volunteers have been trained to provide rapid response testing at the borders
  • Other key health responses include:
  • Samples to be collected every second day and airlifted to Pom & PNGIMR for testing
  • Broader testing to ensure that airline and seaport workers are safe
  • Undertake border COVID-19 testing at the PNG-Indonesian border as well as all provinces
  • The testing for persons of interest will also be done in Lae and Port Moresby where the index case had travelled
  • As of Friday, 5,673 of 6,485 persons of interest completed 14 days quarantine
  • 73 of 86 people under investigation have been cleared
  • Laboratory results for 12 people still pending
  • 20 contacts under investigation have been cleared
  • Government working with the provincial health teams to respond to people’s request for screening
  •  Dr Dakulala: “The tests we have done so far are for people with cold and flu and breathing difficulties only. These are people who have been in contact with the Index Case including callers who call the Toll-Free Number 1800200 and report symptoms.” “While the Government has relaxed some restrictions, people must remain vigilant in their health care and continue to observe health and sanitation roles being made in this pandemic period.”
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