Wednesday 10th June 2020
The PNG Correctional Services (CS) will be brought into the COVID-19 Operations to assist in the monitoring of quarantined persons and ensure they remain in the designated quarantine facilities for the entire 14 day quarantine period.
Controller of the State of Emergency David Manning made this decision when 66 people who are supposed to be in quarantine could not be located.
“Not only are they in breach of health and COVID-19 quarantine protocols and directions contained in Emergency Order No. 3 but they place the lives of other Papua New Guineas at risk if they are carrying the COVID-19 virus.
“We are now trying to locate them. They have shown that they have no regard for the safety of other people. Once located they will be severely reprimanded.
“In fact today I issued Emergency Order number 14 which will result in the seizure of passports of Papua New Guineans who do not comply with quarantine protocols. Their passports will be held for the duration of the State of Emergency. Upon conviction for non-compliance an application will be made to the Minister for Immigration for the cancellation of their passports,” Mr Manning said.
There are currently 313 persons in quarantine throughout PNG, including the 66 who have left their quarantine facility before the 14 day required period.
Meanwhile Mr Manning said that of a total of 8,639 Rapid tests collected throughout the country, 190 were tested positive for anti-bodies, meaning that at some time in the past they contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
The targeting sample size of 12,000 for antibody research is expected to be completed in the next fortnight. This week the team will focus on Daru and the Fly River in the Western Province.
Mr Manning said that whilst statistics indicate a very low community transmission rate the threat of COVID-19 is very much real and that strict international travel and border surveillance, particularly along the Indonesia border of Boven Digoel and North Fly, needs to be upheld in order to keep community transmissions low.
The border is a concern seeing as almost 100% of new COVID-19 cases in Indonesia have come from Jayapura, hence promoting the need for tighter controls along the northern border province of West Sepik Province.
So far, 24 tonnes of COVID-19 supplies have been sent to all the provinces. Of this 12 tonnes were from the UNICEF.
Mr Manning said whilst the National Parliament continues to debate the future shape of the PNG Government response to COVID0-19 the Joint Agency Task Force is committed to ensuring that PNG is safe from the pandemic.
“I have issued 14 new Emergency Orders under the 14 day extension. The orders are necessary to ensure that we minimise, if not eliminate the threat of COVID-19,” Mr Manning said.
Emergency Order No.14 can be viewed on the official covid website: covid19.info.gov.pg
Media contact:Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557: Email: email@example.com