Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Jelta Wong has urged everyone to be vigilant and take on hygiene practices.
This was his message when receiving donations from Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the national response on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Friday.
“The message must be clear to our people. We are in the new normal stage now and our people must never go back to the old ways where you think you don’t have to wash your hands before you eat…Continue to be vigilant,” Minister Wong said.
For Kumul Petroleum Holdings, this is the third batch of donations it has made to the national response on COVID-19. The donation came in 173 cartons containing body suits (coveralls) and infrared thermometers. The first and second batches have already been dispatched to the 22 provinces. These included test kits, examination gloves and face shields.
Mr Wong thanked PNG’s oil and gas company, saying it is exhausting and expensive trying to procure these items and for a petroleum company to go out and do this is a blessing.
KPHL Managing Director Wapu Sonk said the donation is in fulfilment of the commitment by the organisation on March 27 to support PNG’s preparedness to combat and contain coronavirus with the belief that a national response was needed from everyone, including Kumul Petroleum.
“This presentation brings to fruition the commitment made by Kumul Petroleum on March 27, when it was announced that we would be committing a K5 million assistance to the government to support its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this commitment, we have so far invested about K3.298 million to purchase 21,100 pieces of COVID-19 test kits and 360,000 surgical masks among others.
“As the national oil and gas company I am pleased that Kumul Petroleum has been able to provide these PPE to equip our medical centres nationwide and to strengthen national response to COVID-19 and other diseases such as tuberculosis that continues to have high infection rates, and where PPE is also needed when treating patients,” Mr Sonk said.
Mr Sonk thanked the Ministry of Health and the National Department of Health for being present to witness the occasion and expressed his gratitude to the National Department of Health for distributing the PPE to hospitals and health centres nationwide.
“This container is the third instalment of supplies purchased through this arrangement, with the first two shipment of PPE including rapid test kits and surgical face masks having already been distributed nationwide by the National Department of Health. Following the final shipment that is expected to arrive soon, we will have, as a company through the National Department of Health contributed 385,000 pieces of medical equipment to hospitals and health centres,” Mr Sonk said.
WHO Representative Dr Luo Dapeng handed over the donation from WHO to Minister Wong, saying WHO was proud to support the government with this donation.
The US$123,710 worth of PPEs, included 340,000 surgical masks, 200,000 gloves, 1,200 respirators and 1,000 face shields, pulse oximeter and waste bags.
Dr Dapeng said the WHO was glad to be supporting the government in this response.