Marape encourages PNG students in China not to travel


PRIME Minister James Marape has encourage Papua New Guinea students in Wuhan City and other parts of China not to travel.
Marape said the Government was in constant talks with the PNG Embassy, the Chinese Embassy in Port Moresby and the authorities in China and would evacuate the students when and if it became necessary.
“The Chinese government is trying to contain the issue and are taking care of the people in the country, including citizens from other countries who are living or studying there,” he said.
“It’s much safer for the students to remain where they are as moving around or in the event of trying to travel out, they may get infected.
“But if and when the situation becomes necessary for an emergency evacuation, then we will fly our students and citizens out.”
Meanwhile, the New Zealand government has offered to help evacuate Pacific Island students from Wuhan City.
It’s still arranging details for the flights, however, all Pacific Island students who wished to be on that flight are advised to register with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Sources from the Beijing Embassy told The National that they were working on submitting names of the 21 students in Wuhan to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Students in Wuhan, who did not want to be named, told The National that they had submitted their names and passport numbers to the Embassy in Beijing yesterday.
“However, some students are reluctant to leave their universities as seats on the NZ government-assisted evacuation are not guaranteed and the Chinese government will only allow NZ nationals to board first before they allow other third party nationals,” one student said.
“Also for students under the Chinese government scholarships, the CSC has opposed to us students leaving for various reasons, including the fact that as soon as you leave your school premises, your school or CSC is no longer responsible for you and you’re on your own.
“So in the event that we don’t make the flight, we won’t be allowed back to school.”