Lockdown

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By REBECCA KUKU
ALL inbound flights to the country will stop from Sunday in a “seven-day lockdown” directive to reduce the chances of coronavirus entering Papua New Guinea.
Prime Minister James Marape made the announcement shortly after returning from his trip to Balimo in Western for the Gogodala Canoe Festival, and conducted an inspection of the Jackson International Airport.
He told The National that the Government had been monitoring the Covid-19 (coronavirus) since it first broke out on Dec 31 in Wuhan.
“I know all of you are concerned about Covid-19, and so am I. We are doing everything we can to stop Covid-19 from entering our country, stop it from spreading in our country and stop it from killing in our country,” he said.
He said information on passengers arriving and their contact addresses 14 day before arrival and 14 days after arrival “is good”.
“That’s why the suspect case (on Wednesday) was tracked and monitored,” he said.
“We are now taking one step further by stopping all international passengers from coming to PNG as of this Sunday, while our outbound flights to selected airports will remain.
“My apologies for the inconvenience caused. We will manage it on a daily basis until the situation improves,” he said.
Marape said the “lockdown” for seven days would be monitored and could be extended or lifted according to the situation.
He assured the nation that “if the present buffer to stop Covid-19 from reaching PNG is breached, we will move to stop it from spreading and stop it from killing”. Meanwhile, Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel said Air Niugini would stop accepting passengers for inbound international flights to PNG from midnight Saturday.
“The ban will be in place for one week, with ongoing review. We are in a fast-changing environment, and we will continue to keep the public updated.
He said PNG’s passenger screening regime was among the most successful in the world, with only a handful of people requiring testing.
“The Government is putting the health and well-being of Papua New Guineans ahead of all other considerations. This means having the tools necessary to limit the spread of coronavirus, and to go about our daily lives with as little disruption as possible.”

14 comments

  • STOP ALL INBOUND INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, SCREEN ALL PASSENGERS , ALSO SCREEN FOREIGN VESSELS AND PASSENGERS INBOUND.. ISOLATE THEM, IF THEY ESCAPE THIS ISOLATION FIND THEM AND MOVE THEM TO ISOLATED ISLANDS AWAY FROM THE POPULACE AREAS.
    THIS ARE THE TWO ROUTES THE VIRUS WILL ENTER PNG, BY AIR AND BY SHIPS.
    JUST STOP ALL FLIGHT IN AND OUT BOUND. AIR NIUGINI , PNG AIR- CHARTER AIR CRAFTS FROM MINING GIANTS -AIR CRAFTS WILL BE THE VIRUS CARRIER IF ALLOW PEOPLE INWARD FROM AUSTRALIA AND SINGAPORE. total shut down and lets see ……for now lets see a FEW MONTHS if PNG status has changed. LETS CONTROL, EDUCATE OUR COUNTRY MEN AND WOMEN ABOUT HEALTH AND SERIOUSNESS OF THIS PANDEMIC — THIS IS SERIOUS , WE ALL MUST FIGHT THIS COVID 19- STARTS WITH ALL PNGEAN WITH SIMPLE HEALTH ISSUES THAT WE ALWAYS IGNORED IN OUR LIVES…wash hands regularly.

  • Our bad habits in spitting betel nuts every where in the Highlands as if they are grown up there must stop before the entire population goes to the grave!

  • Recently all domestic flights and buses traveling from other parts of Provinces area put to stop.where our students from Universities and colleges will stay. We are in the process and ready to book their tickets and take them home where they will be 100% safer than left them alone. Please do something for our kids.
    I am really concern about this.

  • We have terribly failed when we had the opportunity to shut the door of the coronavirus. Only passenger from Brisbane and Singapore and Japan should come into the country and control the number of passengers travelling in two weeks not to exceed 300. All those international passengers, either local or foreign should have been kept in one location (hotel) for 10 – 14 days and second testing before they would have been released. This is because, the passenger might be infected 1 or 2 hours or a day before he/she boards in, it is obvious that clearance (14) is bypassed there.

    Now, government has to allow people who are not working and depending on sales of Buai and Smoke to go home/villages at a very cheap/free airfares. This are the people who will spread the disease/chaos at a level that is unpredictable.

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