Manning warns of fake news on COVID-19 response: calls on leaders to set example of health measures

Sunday 15 November 2020

The Controller of the Pandemic Response, Mr David Manning, clarifies today that the official source of information and public announcements on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response is the National Control Centre (NCC).

Mr Manning reiterated this  after rumours of a lockdown circulated on social media.

“I have not released that statement being circulated on Facebook and other electronic platforms and I urge the public and the media to always verify information before sharing. Let us be responsible citizens and check our sources. Malicious statements bring unnecessary panic to our people,” Mr Manning said.

Mr Manning further added, “With due respect to our people, political leaders, their supporters and spin doctors, we understand that these are testing times in our nation’s political history. Unfortunately, we have reached a new low in the way social media and misinformation has been once again been employed as a tactic to influence emotions and thinking.

“I am totally disgusted that there are individuals and politically-motivated groups that feel that they need to create fake news to make themselves relevant.”

Mr Manning says  NCC continues to maintain its efforts, on behalf of the Government and  the  people, to keeping PNG safe from COVID-19 .

“Any direction or measures that have been  and will be issued will be based on best practice and professional advice from our experts that are guided by facts, statistics and science.

“I also warn those who started the fake news that spreading false information as well as misusing and misrepresenting the NCC emblem and letterhead is irresponsible and punishable under the Pandemic Act 2020. We will get to the bottom of this and I will personally see those responsible are dealt with appropriately.”

Mr Manning also reminded that leaders play a big role in determining how the response to COVID-19 go in this country.

“COVID-19 remains a threat to our country and our people look up to our leaders and champions.

“Our adherence to public health measures in the Niupela Pasin will give a strong message to the people to also protect themselves,” Mr Manning said, adding that Niupela Pasin is about making hygiene a part of our lives.”

“Habits like wearing face masks in public places, maintaining safe physical distance in crowded areas, practicing frequent hand washing, and adhering to cough etiquette are not just for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country, but also other infectious diseases.

“I pray that God will bless PNG and guide her people through this critical period,” he added.

To date, Papua New Guinea’s total COVID-19 cases is 602, with seven known deaths.

The majority of the cases are in the age brackets of 30-39 and 40–49. Common symptoms of COVID-19 that are being reported are fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills, headache and muscle aches.

Fifteen of the 22 provinces (including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville) have confirmed COVID-19 cases:


Provinces Confirmed Cases
NCD 347
Western Province 204
Eastern Highlands 13
West New Britain 11
Central 7
Morobe 5
East Sepik 3
Milne Bay 2
East New Britain 2
Enga 2
New Ireland 2
West Sepik 1
Southern Highlands 1
Hela Province 1

Globally, since the start of the outbreak, there have been 53,164,803 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,300,576 deaths reported to WHO.

There was an increase of 657,312 new cases and 9,797 new deaths in the last 24 hours.

In the Western Pacific Region, there has been a total of 793,437 confirmed cases, with 16,332 deaths.


Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557 email:
Police email:          
COVID-19 JATF email:

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