PNG joins countries without COVID-19

Wednesday 10 June 2020

PAPUA New Guinea has not had any cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the last 44 days which makes it COVID-19 free as other countries without any cases yet.

Deputy State of Emergency Controller and Acting Health Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala

However, health authorities and partners involved in the COVID-19 response are still being cautious because of the high confirmed cases in other countries, including Indonesia and Australia with whom PNG shares its borders.

Deputy State of Emergency Controller and Acting Health Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala, said Papua New Guinea does  not have any cases, but that should not be cause for people to let down their guards.

“We are part of the global community and so the chances of the virus being imported into the country are high. As we allow our national airline to bring back our citizens and residents living in other countries, we are also taking chances even though we have a 14-day quarantine in place to ensure we rule out any possibility of transmission in this way.

“As of today, a few flights have been made to bring back people stranded overseas when the Government imposed a temporary ban on international flights,” Dr Dakulala said.

On the issue of the 14-day quarantine imposed on new arrivals from overseas, Dr Dakulala has urged affected individuals and their families to comply for the benefit of everyone.

“PNG is one of eight countries that had reported COVID-19 cases, but had successfully been able to stamp the virus out. The latest to the exclusive club is New Zealand which confirmed a total of 1,504 cases, but its last case was discharged from hospital on Monday this week.

“Fiji is another country in the Pacific apart from New Zealand that had cases of COVID-19 but currently has no active COVID-19 cases as all  of its 18 confirmed cases have recovered,” Dr Dakulala said.

Papua New Guinea begun screening passengers for COVID-19 on 28 January, long before the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11.

As of 8 June, it has tested a total of 5,354 people for COVID-19 out of which only eight were confirmed and have been mild to moderate cases. They had recovered and are living normal lives.

The country came up with a mix of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, following the reporting of the first case on March 20, which included banning international flights, declaring a State of Emergency for the entire country and closing of businesses and schools.

“These have opened but are required to operate following the health protocols in place.

Parliament last week  extended the SoE for another two weeks from June 2 to Julne16 to allow for the drafting and passing of a new law called Public Health Emergency Act of 2020.

This act will provide a legal framework to prepare for, detect and rapidly respond to COVID-19 and other public health threats with the whole-of-Government approach.

If passed, Papua New Guinea will become the first country to have such a law.


Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557: Email:


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