Bougainville Declares State of Emergency Due To Covid-19

Source: New Dawn FM News, 23rd March 2020

The Autonomous Bougainville Government this afternoon declared State of Emergency due to the growing concern over the Covid-19 pandemic.

ABG President Grand Chief Dr John Momis made the declaration following lengthy discussion with the Bougainville Executive Council.

This follows the State of Emergency declared by Prime Minister JAMES MARAPE yesterday throughout Papua New Guinea for the next 14 days with all domestic flights cancelled throughout the country.

Under the Bougainville Emergency Law the Bougainville Executive Council or the President can declare an emergency under section 196, 197, 198 and up to 200 talk about when a emergency can be declared and for a period of 21 days.

Emergency can be declared if there is earthquake of natural disaster or if there is an outbreak of a infectious disease.

This declaration means that the issue of writs will have to wait and until the 21 days have lapsed or if the situation has changed resulting in the revoking of the emergency.

The Controller of the emergency and Bougainville Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner, FRANCIS TOKURA and his deputy will be the Chief Secretary Retire Colonel THOMAS RAIVET.

They will announce the details of this emergency tomorrow.

This emergency will restrict Public gatherings and public market throughout the region.

In government circles all non-essential staff will be asked to self-isolate for the next 21 days to avoid the contracting and spreading of Novel Corona Virus.

Up till now Bougainville has no confirmed case of Corona Virus, but President Momis said that Prevention was better than cure. He said that Bougainville does not have the capacity to handle the pandemic and has to make this tough decision to protect its citizens.

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