He made the announcement today at the National Operations Centre at the Morauta Haus. This emergency order will be implemented immediately.
Mr Manning said ‘designated goods’ such as betel nut, wild betel nut and any other perishable items, may be seized and destroyed during routine roadblocks or searches of vehicles by authorized officers.
Mr Manning stressed that any aircraft, vehicles, or vessels that are found or suspected to be transporting these designated goods or transporting persons in breach of travel restrictions shall be seized and impounded for the period of the national emergency.
He maintained that until the end of the national emergency all aircraft, vehicles and vessels confiscated and impounded will be returned to the owner as soon as practical unless the owners can no longer be located, the government may have to auction them off.
“I appeal to the public to cooperate with us. There is no need for such laws to come into effect. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is a national crisis and we have to take all precautions to ensure that the disease does not spread. So far there has been only one imported and one local case of COVID-19 infection. I pray that these will be the only two recorded in PNG,” Mr Manning said.