Acquit Covid-19 funds

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PRIME Minister James Marape has demanded that all MPs account for the K2 million allocated to each province and district as the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic response funding.
He said this in Parliament after Opposition Leader Belden Namah had raised questions on the Covid-19 status and funding.
Marape questioned Namah what he had done with the K2 million allocated to him as the Vanimo-Green MP.
“On the K2 million of yours, what did you do for your hospital? What bed did you fix?” Marape asked.
He said the people of Vanimo must ask Namah these questions.
Marape said people in other districts should question their MPs on how they had used the K2 million.
“The people must ask me and the other MPs what we have done with the K2 million (given to us,” he said.
Marape said vaccination was voluntary for everyone, but some companies who were concerned about their workplace safety had insisted that their employees get vaccinated.
He said the Government did not have control over companies’ decisions.
Marape said the World Health Organisation had approved for use in PNG the vaccines AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Sinopharm.
“The Government policy on vaccination was that it was not compulsory, but it is ensuring that the vaccines were available in health facilities throughout the country,” he said.
Marape said it was an individual’s choice whether to get the vaccine or not. But “workplace safety is something that employers have a concern over” and “it’s not the business of the prime minister to decide (on that)”.
“Companies need to be functional (so) if they feel that workplace safety is important, they decide that this (urging employees to be vaccinated) is the way to go.
“We have told them that vaccination is voluntary.”
He said some employers had indicated to him that they were complying with the voluntary vaccination policy, but indicated that if the employees got the Covid-19 and they did not come to work, then the employees took time off work.
“That’s the choice of different workplaces as far as workplace protocol is concerned,” Marape said.