Two-week extension

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‘New normal’ measures to be approved by parliament

By HELEN TARAWA and SAMUEL BARIASI
PARLIAMENT has extended the Covid-19 state of emergency by two weeks to allow MPs time to discuss the “new normal” measures needed before the lockdown ends.
Parliament was also informed of the parliamentary emergency committee’s recommendation that the state of emergency be extended for two months.
Prime Minister James Marape told Parliament that the two-week extension was to allow Parliament time to pass the Public Health Emergency Bill.
The bill is expected to be tabled today by Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven. It was prepared by his team at Department of Justice and Attorney-General, in consultation with the Health Department.
Marape said the legislation would ensure that the state of emergency powers was “transferred in a structured manner”.
“We have a law that is available for use and we can operate within the structure embracing that law to move out of the state of emergency period but operating in the controlled environment, being sensitive to Covid-19, as we go through the rest of the year,” he said.
“This law will embrace how we go to school, how we go to church and to work, the transport regulations, the new normal of living with the Covid-19 for the rest of our lives.”
He said control would be moved out of Waigani.
“A stronger autonomy will be funneled to provinces so that based on provincial needs, they will design their own programmes on how to deal with the Covid-19,” he said.
“This is new uncharted territory we are in. For us to establish a way forward, there will be a fine compromise to take to ensure that our people are brought back to life as normal as we can, but (accepting) that the threat of the Covid-19 is real among us.”
Parliamentary emergency committee chairman and Bogia MP Robert Naguri said their recommendation was that measures be relaxed except for Western and West Sepik. “A legislation that specifically relates to the containment and prevention of the spread of pandemics, epidemics and infectious diseases such as Covid-19 be enacted before the expiry of the extended SOE,” he said.
He said institutions conducting research into infectious diseases must be reviewed.
“(The Government) should consider establishing an institution such as the Centre for Disease Control similar to the United Kingdom and the United States of America,” he said.
Naguri also recommended that a comprehensive review of the medical procurement and distribution system in Papua New Guinea be done immediately.
“Despite our best attempts to prepare our health sector in the last two months and 14 days, PNG is still not ready at all to deal with an outbreak of Covid-19.”

16 comments

  • The extension is made so the funds allocated for COVID-19 can be used. Tell the truth now. We did survived the corona virus and if it was to spread it surely will do. So save us all time and money.

  • My concern is for they people who have been unemployed for close of business. what is guaranteed that all those people will be employed again. How long again they will suffer and what about their children who will go to school, food etc..

  • The Public Health Emergency Bill should not be limited to covid-19 only but should cover all other infectious diseases such as MDR-TB, Chorea, Malaria and others. at the same time the National Government should use this opportunity to improve or build the capacity of the health system of PNG.

  • I tough we are almost done with Covid19 but how comes is that the extension continues.
    since the broke out of the pandemic, PNG does not have a record of dead related to covid19, or maybe I made mistake by saying this or else please cleared it out.

  • My concern is about the school calendar, can they be a extension of two weeks before the final examination of both tertiary , secondary, and primary shcools. Including matriculation centers throughout PNG..

  • The Government should consider the lives,welfare of its people and do some serious strategic plans that will enhances the safety of the country and the economy state of the country. Lots of citizens had loose their jobs and are really in a miserable life dreaming each morning they would wake up to a brighter day but it remains untold to the mind of the Government.
    I suggested that the S.O.E and or the control measures should be put forward to the international flights, boarders and all foreign activities within the country and let us the Papua New Guineans live life as we are democratic country one people one nation one country. GOD BLESS PNG.

  • The parliamentary emergency committee need to look at the world statistics and base the facts on the data comparably to PNG state of readiness to technically handle COVID -19 if in any serious circumstance the pandemic strikes PNG. Therefore, extensions should continue periodically to allow gradual monitoring of health facilities developed through provincial health authorities by their respective institutions. In this way we are able to make effective judgement on when to actually end the SOE or live with it.

  • “Ensuring people’s lives, bringing them back to as normal as the government can”, hopefully it includes all the people of the country, that is from within towns to the remotest areas(villages) of each provinces. See to it that after Two weeks extension of SoE, there is more fairness among people. Uplift few ban which affects people’s livelihoods. Plan and implement on new ideas, which one must carry out so that they benefit *uplifted ban* and being responsible consumers at the same time. For example, Ban on Betle-nut, we surely know it impacted on changes like cleanliness of the environment during the lockdown, but it has also affected the lives of people whose only income is betle-nut, (they also have children attending higher institutions in and around City).
    Such is a normal that could be brought to people like this.

    ~Peace

  • It’s really great to see the city a bit clean, we should maintain this attitude regardless covid19 or not. I for one am a great chewed but I always take care of my rubbish and disposing at the right place.
    However the noise is slowly creeping up again with drunkards without consideration of neighbours when taking in alcahol. Should look into this as well.

  • We right in the middle of the year 2020 and have few months before for Grade 8,10 and 12 students sitting for their exams,we have some outstanding school fees for this year and thinking about next year is another burden for every parent.
    This year is a very struggling year for all of us and those of us living in the towns and cities are worse affected and if the lock down continues,we can still survive but its going to be a big disaster to our children all across the country.

  • Iam in support of last speaker, COVID-19 can be here but how about childrens Education and shool fee’s
    for this year and next year it accumlate ‘s therefore can the COVID controller’s think about it this year, forfite
    it and we look fresh school fee’s next year 2021 because of covd-19 wanbel stap thank you.

  • GS1/ROGER are you ok? if lock down stays then you gonna feed pom settlers? we cannot clean up our city even government too because png’s life style/tradition used on living with unhealthy life since generation starts.

  • I thought if any confirmed death in png and extension applied then should be much better but nothing and extension, people might die from food/hunger instead of cover-19. You leaders you are not going in the settlements and see how people living due to SOE. Please think about people and you’ll be blessed

  • Extension to give time to parliamentarians to discuss the new normal. what is the new normal then, does it refer to new orders on how people should live. PNG is a democratic state, how can one decide how people should live, this is only applicable during the state of emergency. People have their rights to move around and do the things freely. How can you dictate how people should live when we are living in a free country.

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