Concern over border activities

National

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
WEST Sepik Governor Tony Wowou is concerned that Papua New Guineans are still entering Indonesia illegally to do business despite reports of a coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in Jayapura.
Wowou said that according to Indonesian media reports, two Covid-19 cases had been confirmed in Jayapura since last month and the number was expected to increase.
“I have written to Police Commissioner David Manning to provide a police boat for my provincial Covid-19 task force awareness team to monitor the seas between Vanimo and Jayapura,” he said.
“I also want PNG Defence Force soldiers to be deployed along the PNG-Indonesian border.
“Currently, we have only 70 police officers in the province and that is not enough.
“People are still coming from as far as East Sepik to do business, especially to sell vanilla beans in Jayapura (or at the border), although there is awareness going on about Covid-19 in my province and East Sepik.
“And that is very careless as these illegal border crossers along the hinterlands and sea can return and spread it (coronavirus) among us.”
Wowou said this yesterday when receiving K100,000 from the Provincial and Local Level Government secretary Dickson Guina to carry out awareness along the PNG-Indonesian border.
“In my province, we have already set up our Covid-19 task force after seeing global reports of the Covid-19 outbreak last month,” he said.
“That team comprises representatives from the West Sepik health authority, police, Immigration, National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority (Naqia) and Customs.
“We have a budget of K3 million (K1 million from the provincial government and K500,000 each from the four district development authorities) to conduct awareness in the province.”

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