O’Neill calls for more action


FORMER prime minister Peter O’Neill wants the Government to be transparent on what action and preparation has been taken for Papua New Guineans and the country in relation to the global coronavirus outbreak.
“What is happening to Papua New Guineans in China?” he said.
“There are as many as 2,000 of our citizens who are looking for options to return home.
“But there is no information from the Government.”
O’Neill reminded Prime Minister James Marape that “our people need to know if any of our citizens have contracted coronavirus”.
“We need transformation and all the information from the prime minister,” he said.
“It is not right for him to go missing in action and let his ministers take the blame instead.”
O’Neill added that the administration should take the global coronavirus outbreak much more seriously than what it was currently doing.
He said the Government needed a better all-of-government management plan.
“Ministers and department heads had not been given clarity about their specific roles and responsibilities as well as any indication of additional budgetary requirements,” he said.
“We have also seen a confused border policy response to efforts needed to prevent the coronavirus from entering Papua New Guinea.
“This response is doing nothing but hurting our people.”
O’Neill said the border with Indonesia should be opened but with appropriate control measures in place.
“Why are we closing the land border with Indonesia?” he said.
“This makes no operational sense at all because there are no recorded cases of coronavirus in Indonesia, and particularly not in Jayapura
“Details of the response plan if coronavirus entered the country were nowhere to be seen yet.
“We cannot just live in hope that we will not have any cases.
“Our country is at greater risk because we live in houses with greater number of people living together.”

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