PM pays tribute to Papua New Guineans

Thursday 30 April 2020

Prime Minister, James Marape, has extended his appreciation, on behalf of Government, to Papua New Guineans, from all walks of life, for their role in ensuring coronavirus has not spread uncontrollably in the country.

         Prime Minister, James Marape

Mr Marape was speaking during the daily press briefing on government’s response to COVID-19, at Morauta Haus today.

“Let me pass my appreciation to Papua New Guineans from all walks of life- from ordinary Papua New Guineans, SME operators, businessmen, businesswomen, corporate and public service levels, for putting up with us, in ensuring covid19 does not spread, as far as community transmissions are concerned, and for supporting us in this cause.

“To those parents, girls and boys, living in Port Moresby and provinces, and who have not caused any law and order problems, I thank you for helping our country.”

Mr Marape said the main COVID-19 planning center under the leadership of Controller David Manning, is doing its absolute best in ensuring Papua New Guineans adapt to a life living with covid 19 for the balance of this year.

He added that from global figures, covid 19 has affected around 3 million people on planet earth with the number of deaths going past 200,000 people, and warned that corona could reemerge if not proper controlled, as was the case in Singapore.

“Singapore was able to contain covid-19, but in the last week or so, there is a reemergence of covid19 again in Singapore, so covid19 can grow again in our country if it’s not properly controlled.”

Singapore now has more than 14,000 cases of corona while Australia still maintains at around 6,700, with Indonesia’s cases increasing to more than 9,500.

Mr Marape assured citizens that it was not his doing, nor Minister for Health Jelta Wong or Controller Manning or Acting Secretary Dakulala, that coronavirus came into the country.

“Coronavirus is here in our region. Small country of Guam, has 138 cases of covid 19, with five deaths; Fiji, has 18 confirmed cases with no deaths. Fortunately, Papua New Guinea has no recorded deaths, but covid 19 is already here.”

Mr Marape thanked God for family members of the seven confirmed cases in the country that have tested negative.

Meantime, the Department of Health has embarked on establishing case study and asses the environment in which the seven cases live.

Mr Marape appealed to citizens to wear masks whether they are in public places, at work, school or churches, to stop the threat of corona spreading uncontrollably in the country

“These are things that we must all live with. The threat of corona spreading uncontrollably in our country can clog out health system and affect our economy if we allow covid-19 to grow uncontrolled.”

Meanwhile, as children return to classes on Monday 4 May, they have been directed to wear masks at all times and exercise health measures while in school and abide by the new covid-19 standards.

Mr Marape however, told parents and guardians to keep their children at home, if they were not comfortable with sending their children to school.

Public transport is now opened with flights and vessels to resume operations with strict COVID-19 protocols.

Mr Marape called for continued cooperation from citizens and residents and said during this month, everyone has to adapt to these new protocols on how to live with covid-19 in June and beyond.

“Our government is trying its absolute best, with limited resources, in ensuring that COVID-19 does not kill businesses, jobs and lives in our country.

‘I thank the governments of Australia, Philippines, China, India, New Zealand, Japan and many other partners in extending their assistance and support to Papua New Guinea’s fight against covid-19.”

“I am aware that a lot of Papua New Guineans are struggling financially. But be assured that Treasurer and his team have released K250 million to ensure that provinces and districts receive their funding and Police and Defence being allocated funds for operations

“We stand united in resisting and fighting corona and further give service to our Health Department.”

Mr Marape added that the best help that citizens can give to the country is to restrict their unnecessary movements and stay home wherever they may be, to stop the spread of covid 19, and to play their role in ensuring that the State of Emergency protocols are complied with.

“To revert back to zero status of our country, we all need to wear masks when moving around,” Mr Marape said.

The State of Emergency lapses on 2 June 2020.

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