By PATRICIA KEAMO
GOROKA’S National Sports Institute has relocated its staff and athletes to another facility on campus to allow for the Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority to convert its hall into an isolation centre for Coronavirus (Covid-19) patients.
Institute director Janet Gimots told The National yesterday that she had approved the authority’s request with work on the centre starting on Sunday. She said they were working with the Eastern Highlands government and authority to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the province, which had recorded 42 deaths over the last four weeks.
“A request, which I had approved, was made by the Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority to use the hall as an isolation centre following a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the province,” Gimots said.
“I considered the health of our staff and athletes as paramount, and the first step I took was to close our office building and relocate to another facility on campus.
“We have put in place other measures for resident staff for the period the hall is used as an isolation centre.
“Athletes residing in the dormitory will be relocated to the staff residence.
“Local sports associations will be advised that the institute’s facilities, including the grounds, will be restricted for use until the end of the year.”
Gimots said they had aligned the measures with directives from the provincial pandemic response controller in adherence to the Niupela Pasin protocols.
“We are restricting staff to only one entry and exit point where temperature checks, hand sanitising and ‘no mask, no entry’ will be implemented,” she said. “The plan is to limit the number of staff coming to work by having them work in shifts.
“However, this is pending consultation with Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation executive director Albert Veratau and the human resource division in Port Moresby.”
Gimots said they had 13 staff and their families residing on campus as well as five tenants and five athletes, including Toea Wisil.
She said they were bound to help as they were a public institution.
By PATRICIA KEAMO