Governments of PNG and Australia collaborate to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic

The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia continue to work closely to combat the shared threat we face from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Controller of the National Pandemic Response , David Manning said the  support shown by Australia once again reaffirmed  the close relationship and” our common desire for the welfare of our people.”

“Our two counties have a deep bond that was forged in a world war, and enhanced through decades of working together, and now we stand shoulder to shoulder in stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific.”

The National Control Centre, on behalf of the Government of Papua New Guinea, has articulated the immediate requirements that are needed  to help combat the latest wave of community spread infections.

He added that, “it is with gratitude that the Government received the response from the Australian Prime Minister, Hon. Scott Morrison, MP, on behalf of his Government, to provide the following support.”

  • 8000 doses of AstraZeneca from Australia’s domestic stocks to be sent urgently to Papua New Guinea;
  • 1 Million Surgical Masks, 200,000 Respirator Masks, 100,000 Gowns, 100,000 Goggles, 100,000 Pairs of gloves, 100,000 bottles of sanitiser, 20,000 face shields and 200,000 non-invasive ventilators;
  • AUSMAT team to be mobilized to bolster the efforts of the National Control Center;
  • Specific Interventions in partnership with NDOH in regard to vaccination program in Border treaty areas

“Further to this, our two countries have agreed to new border control measures that will help both countries to manage the current virus spread the immediate term.”

These measures prevent non-essential travel with exceptions made for humanitarian and medical purposes, and will come into effect as of midnight this evening and will be reviewed after 14 days.

Today, the National Control Center also presented the National Isolation Strategy to the Prime Minister for his consideration and endorsement.

This strategy will be outlined through measures that will be circulated widely beginning 18th March 2021, to then come into effect on 22nd March 2021.  The impending measures will include but are not limited to:

  • Domestic Travel
  • Public Transport
  • Sporting Calendars
  • Mass Gatherings

Mr Manning says the challenge before us is no doubt enormous, and through our government working with partners such as Australia and international bodies including the WHO, we will overcome.

“The people of Papua New Guinea are resilient and strong and we do not back down in a fight.

“This is the fight of our time and I call on every one of our people to stand strong in the face of adversity, to work together and to all play our part to wear face masks, to maintain social distancing, to restrict unnecessary travel and prevent the spread of this virus,” Mr Manning added.

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