Tuesday 19 May 2020
Prime Minister . Hon. James Marape, has repeatedly urged Papua New Guineans to remain sensitive , despite the country’s eight established coronavirus (covid-19) cases so far.
In his opening remarks during today’s press briefing on the government’s response to covid-19, Mr Marape urged every citizen and resident not to be complacent.
“Statistics globally show that complacency must not be in our mindset, despite the fact that , 57 days on since our first case was established , we had only eight cases established thus far.
“Today is day 57, since the first day when we started this operation on 24 March, to ensure we are on top of our watch , in as far as defending our country from the possible intrusion of the coronavirus.
“And 57 days on we still have only eight established cases of positive corona cases.”
Mr Marape continues to encourage citizens and residents to remain vigilant , adding that the coronavirus threat is real and could ravage the country.
When comparing statistics from 57 days ago, from 24 March to now, Mr Marape said from global statistics there were 327, 755 cases of confirmed covid-19 with 16 231 deaths.
“And 57 days later on planet earth, there are 4,882,495 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 319,670 deaths.”
He says the numbers have been increasing since March 24 and have gone beyond 4 million, and because Papua New Guinea has a few cases of covid-19, that does not mean people have to relax – they have to be vigilant.
As Papua New Guinea prepares to come out of the state of emergency come June 2, there have been emergency orders put in place to ensure that citizens and residents remain sensitive and live a life style that is covid-19 conscious.
In addition, updates from the Western Pacific region has Australia with 7,068 confirmed cases and 99 deaths; Philippines 12 718 cases and 831 deaths ; Singapore has 28,343 cases of covid-19 and 22 deaths; .Guam , 151 confirmed cases with five deaths; New Caledonia , 18 cases. Fiji with 18 cases; Northern Mariana Islands has 21 cases and two deaths; Indonesia , 18 010 cases with 1,191 deaths so far. West Papua has 438 confirmed cases of covid-19 with 10 deaths .
In the meantime, the personal protective equipment (PPEs) airlifted from China are currently being distributed to each province .
Mr Marape admits there are no medicines or hospital beds or facilities that can cater for an outbreak of covid-19 in the country.
“Therefore the Marape-Steven government is committed to ensuring the 21 provincial hospitals, the regional hospital in Bougainville and the district health facilities are properly maintained for the benefit of its citizens.
“As we go beyond the state of emergency period , towards the end of this year, the government will work closely with the provincial governments to ensure our citizens are adhering to the protocols as far as covid-19 is concerned.
“Much of the responsibilities will be passed to our provincial governments as well as provincial leadership led by governors , to take control in ensuring we are living with the covid-19 protocols ,”Mr Marape said.
Mr Marape , in acknowledging God’s presence and protection over the country , further extended his gratitude to Papua New Guineans for their continued support in abiding by the covid-19 protocols.
He call on all levels of government and agencies of government , public servants residents and citizens to adhere to and follow the protocols to stop covid – 19
“ As we go into June 2 and beyond, our country will be expected to live in compliance to the covid19 protocols and standards.
“We will be transferring policing of these protocols to the provinces led by the provincial governors and assisted by the provincial administrators and provincial police commanders in respective provinces through out the country. It’s a hard time we are all living in but we must remain composed .”
Mr Marape warns citizens not to go out of their homes when they develop cough and fever but to ring the hotline number ,1800200
He however urged women to sew face masks and sell to the public. He also encouraged citizens to own a mask to protect themselves.
Meanwhile Mr Marape said most of the covid 19 related life styles being introduced and advocated will be developed into laws past June 2, when the state of emergency period lapses , for the safety of the people and the country .
“And it is for our mutual benefit that we must live in a life style that is covid 19 sensitive because statistics around the world shows that this disease is not being eradicated .
“There is no cure for covid-19 right now , and vaccines may take one or two yeas to be developed, therefore, we just have to remain vigilant as we live every day in our country,” Mr Marape said. .