Monday June 1 2020
COVID-19 State of Emergency Controller David Manning says he is satisfied in the whole of government approach to manage the coronavirus pandemic in the country, however he says there is still more to be done to keep PNG safe.
Mr Manning was speaking on the COVID-19 Question and Answer program over the weekend as the State of Emergency comes to end tomorrow (2nd June 2020).
“Generally it has been satisfactory otherwise we will not be where we are now but we have capacity issues which we have to work on. While we appreciate provincial responses we could have done things somewhat better.
“On the whole we have made significant steps in progressing a joint agency response and the biggest achievement is a collaborative effort shown by the willingness of authorities to take on the challenge,” Mr Manning said.
He said it is not a complete success story as there are capacity issues to respond to in a holistic manner.
He said these capacity issues will have to be worked on as PNG transitions from SOE into another arrangement as COVID-19 is still a threat.
He said efforts will be strengthened to build capacity at the provincial and district levels to be ready to ensure there is no further spread.
Mr Manning said COVID-19 health protocols going into the future are being documented by the Department of Health working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and will put into legislation to be discussed and passed by Parliament.
“ PNG could be the first country to make the new normal protocols into law.
“I thank the many government departments and all who have worked closely under the Joint Agency Task Force in the National Operations Centre and the Provincial Operation Centres especially those in the front line such as health and medical officers, the security forces and all stakeholders,” Mr Manning said.
He assured all that funds being expended for the SOE will be fully accounted for.
“As per the SOE law, an audit report is being finalised to be presented to the Government.
“The fight against the virus is not over and I urge all citizens to continue to maintain vigilance and to always observe the established health protocols,” Mr Manning said.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557 : Email: firstname.lastname@example.org