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PNG Govt shuts down transport system, Schools and declares State of Emergency over Coranavirus COVID-19 fears

Some essential services including transport and schools have been shut down due to the first case of Coronavirus in Papua New Guinea.
The Marape-Steven Govt released the following statement.
Today based on advise from the Covid 19 National Operation Centre (NOC 19) and National Security Council (NSC) recommendations, the National Executive Council in an emergency meeting has decided on the following measures in light of first positive case of Covid 19 in our country.

This is a national security issue now and not just a health issue but a cross cutting issue including effect on economy, law and order and education of our children amongst other effects. Hence the relevance of the following measures.

So far we have done trace of the person that came into our country and he remains to date our only positive person who is in isolation and recovering but to clearly demarcate our country from spread and for Government to take stock from this bio security breach, we are taking the following measures.

1. Confirm this first case and it’s impact to ensure we contain it’s impact including treating, curing and sending the victim back to Australia.
2. Taking stock of all entry into PNG after 7th of March to ensure all are checked, tested and status of health affirmed. All who have come in or those that have come in contact with those who came into PNG since 7th of March are to report to the hotline below.
3. Declare a State of Emergency for 30 days in which the Commissioner of Police will assume control assisted by a call out placed on military to ensure lawful order, control and response to to SOE control measures.
4. Following on our stop of incoming international flights, we now stopping all domestic flights for the next 14 days starting on Tuesday this week.
5. We direct that as of Tuesday 24th March 2020, no Public transportation of people and no movement from one province to another for a 14 day period. Only approved cargo and medicine and police /military personal will be moving.
6. The Provincial Governors and their Provincial Administrators with Provincial Police Commanders with the respective Provincial Health Authorities will be control points in all province.
7. All heads of departments and private companies are to embrace safe work place practise and non essential staff are asked to stay at home for the next 14 days.
8. Education and Higher Education departments are asked to advance first term holiday as of tomorrow 23rd of March and the next 14 days are to be school holidays.
9. All who have come into the country as from the 7th of March 2020 or those who made contact with those who came into the country from that date please report, call or text to the hotline below.
10. No border crossing by foot or canoe and police /army presence in border areas will be stepped up.
11. Banks and financial institutions and super funds will be mobilised to work with Government on economic packages in this down time.
12. The SOE controller through the office of Prime Minister will be the only official point of releasing statements to public.
13. The SOE controller will issue on details on how citizens and our country respond and behalf in this time and breach of those will be punished as offence in times of emergency.

We have now mapped the country into zones to isolate this virus from spreading.

The mid PNG zone from Morobe and Madang Provinces into the entire highlands , the Central Papua ( including NCD, Central and Gulf), the Niugini Island Zone, the Sepik Zone, the Western Border Zone and the Bougainville Zone.

The SOE commander will delicate the PPCs to police the zones to ensure lawful abiding to this control measures.

We will get through this phase, we ask from corporation from all citizens, residents and businesses houses.

God bless PNG.

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Urgent PNG Govt NEC meeting underway in response to first COVID-19 Postive case

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