Madang Festival put off over disease fears

Main Stories, National


THE fear of a cholera outbreak in the Morobe province has forced the neighbouring Madang province to postpone its Madang festival indefinitely.
The Madang festival, formerly known as the Maborasa show, was scheduled to coincide with the 34th Independence celebrations this week.
Although there are no confirmed cholera cases reported in the province, an urgent provincial executive council meeting last Friday decided to defer the festival to a later date as a precautionary measure.
One suspected case is now under quarantine at the Modilon General Hospital.
The person is believed to be from a village located between Rai Coast in Madang and Kabwum district of Morobe.
The hospital is yet to confirm the suspected case after checking the household and relatives of the suspect.
Governor Sir Arnold Amet told The National that the PEC was advised by the provincial health department and World Health Organisation officials that there was a possibility of the spread of the epidemic during the show because of the movement of people from Morobe and the Highlands.
Sir Arnold said that many singsing and drama groups from the Highlands and Morobe were expected to participate in the festival, so the PEC had decided to defer the festival indefinitely until the threat was over.
He said that people’s lives were more important and, therefore, the province was prepared to act to address the spread of the disease.
Sir Arnold said the provincial government had already established a technical task force working committee headed by the provincial administrator to monitor and conduct awareness about the disease.