Possible lockdown

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PORT Moresby is bracing itself for a possible lockdown this week following discussions last weekend between senior doctors, police and city authorities on how best to reduce the Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and deaths.
“Our goal remains to prevent infection, stop transmission and save lives. Many of the (Covid-19-related) deaths are unnecessary deaths,” National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop said.
He is expected to brief Prime Minister James Marape and Health Minister Jelta Wong today on what was discussed.
“The meeting was thorough.
“We explored options and examine their viability and implications,” Parkop said.
“The director medical services of the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) Dr Kone Sobi reminded us that 99 per cent of those admitted at the Port Moresby General Hospital are unvaccinated.
“He also reminded us that the Delta variant was infecting people of all ages unlike the other strand.
“We can stop these unnecessary deaths if we heed the Niupela Pasin protocols and get the vaccine.
“We are now about to reach 80,000 vaccination in the city.
“We need to reach 160,000 adults to achieve herd immunity.”
PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ian Tarutia said what was needed urgently was “a circuit-breaker is required to minimise the movement and large-scale gathering of people”.
“A measured lockdown or curfew for three weeks, only allowing essential services to continue is an option, especially in identified hot spots around the country,” he said.
Deputy chairman of the national health board Dr Mathias Sapuri suggested that a two-week nationwide lockdown was the only way to control the Covid-19 surge.
“The virus stops moving when people stop moving,” he said.
Parkop, on Oct 7, said that he would oppose any further lockdowns in the capital city and the country mostly because of the costs.
The NCDC spent between K8 million and K9 million during the lockdowns when the first and second waves hit the country.
But, last Thursday, he said the city could have a lockdown to check the surge in Covid-19 cases.
“If the doctors tell me that we have to lockdown because they cannot cope any more, then I will follow their advice,” he said.