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PNG Police Chief Manning commends leaders for passage of new bill

CONTROLLER of the State of Emergency and Police Commissioner David Manning today commended members of Parliament for the passing of the National Pandemic Act that will continue the management and monitoring of COVID-19 when the State of Emergency ends next Tuesday.

“The overwhelming decision of Parliament passing the law 70 votes to 14 gives Papua New Guinea confidence that our leaders are concerned over the health and safety of our people as we continue to remain vigilant and steadfast in ensuring the coronavirus is stopped and to not spread within the country.

“Statistics show it remains a very serious threat. No one must think that it is not a threat to PNG even if we have had no cases for the last 46 days,” Mr Manning said.

He especially commended Prime Minister James Marape for his leadership with the support of Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven, Health Minister Jelta Wong and Police Minister Bryan Kramer.

Mr Manning said under the new law, a National Control Centre (NCC) will continue the work of the current National Operations Centre (NOC) with Provincial Control Centres to be also established.

He said the current emergency orders will also remain in force and the Controller will make appropriate changes and new orders pending situations that arise in consultation with relevant agencies including the Provincial Control Centres.

Mr Manning assured all citizens that this remains a health pandemic and while the State of Emergency will cease, the Health Department remains to take the lead with the support of all relevant government agencies.

“International flights remain closed, the border areas remain shut and the security forces called out to support the management of COVID-19 remains in effect. Our medical scientific teams will continue to do their research and surveillance and testing, including the quarantine of people where necessary,” said Mr Manning.

Mr Manning thanked citizens, business houses, schools, churches, sporting bodies and the public in general for the understanding and cooperation, however stressed that COVID-19 is not over and everyone must maintain constant guard and continue to observe the health protocols in place.

“Maintain physical distancing, cough into your elbows, avoid crowds, wash hands regularly and seek medical attention if feeling sick with flu, fever, headache and other symptoms for COVID-19.

“All security Personnel involved in the COVID-19 exercise will be given new operational orders given that the SOE ends on Tuesday next week. The security forces called out will continue to support the management of COVID-19 after the SOE as allowed for under the new law,” Mr Manning concluded.

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