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PM Marape: PNG to go into nationwide isolation as COVID-19 spikes

Papua New Guinea will go into a nationwide isolation as a response to a high rise of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases being reported in the country. 

Prime Minister James Marape announced this at a media conference in Port Moresby today. He said this will “not be stiff lockdown'' so businesses and government will continue to operate.

Details of the isolation strategy will be announced on Wednesday this week after he returns from attending the burial of the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare in Wewak, East Sepik Province. 

“The nationwide isolation strategy will ensure people are not moving from place to place unnecessarily,’’ said Mr Marape. “Remain in your province, remain in your district, remain in your village and where you are,’’ he said.

Mr Marape said the National Control Centre will be working with the Provincial Health Authorities and Provincial Coordinating Centres to ensure the provincial  response plans put together last year are activated and funds earmarked for the response are put to good use. 

NCC will also be working in consultation with the National Department of Education in the implementation of the isolation strategy. 

Mr Marape said PNG begun its response in the green alert phase (it had no cases and then one case around March), and then moved to the next risk levels when it reported a few cases but today it is on red alert phase because of community transmission occurring in a number of provinces in the country.

He said COVID-19 is not a joke. "For those who think COVID-19 is a joke, or are playing around; this is an established pandemic,’’ he said.

In relation to the  COVID-19 vaccine, he said every effort is being made to ensure the vaccine being brought into the country is world class and safe for use. However, if PNG is uncertain of the vaccine he is willing to be the guinea pig.

Next : COVID-19 Cases in Port Moresby passed Thousand

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