By ELIAS LARI
MOUNT Hagen will go into lockdown on Monday to try to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the province, police say.
Death figures provided by authorities were nowhere near the number falling victims and the rapid spread of the killer virus in rural areas, according to villagers.
Western Highlands police commander Chief Insp Jacob Kamiak confirmed the lockdown yesterday and said announcements would be made today in a meeting with the provincial Covid-19 coordinating committee.
“Monday is the lockdown but every announcement will be made tomorrow (today),” Chief Insp Kamiak said.
Western Highlands health authority acting chief executive officer Jane Holden said there were a number of factors influencing the decision for lockdown.
Holden said Western Highlands had a total of 1,282 positive patients with 29 deaths. She confirmed that the death cases were all unvaccinated.
Holden said the province lost one of its longest serving male nurses who died from the Covid-19 last week and 89 health staff had tested positive, 32 had recovered and were back at work.
Chairman of the Wamp Nga Holdings and Mt Hagen rural local level government president Wai Rapa said Western Highlands could be the hot spot because so many deaths were occurring in the villages.
“The number of deaths released by the hospital is less than what is experienced back in the villages,” he said.
Rapa said people were conducting mourning and normal funeral services for the Covid deaths which were dangerous.
“We are losing the population, it is very scary and frightening to see people fall and die,” he said.
“I have witnessed it happening in many areas within the province and I, personally, agree that this province is no longer safe.”
By ELIAS LARI