Protest march planned for Monday not approved says Controller

Friday 29 October, 2021

The  protest march planned for  Monday 1 November 2021, is  illegal  and against the efforts of the PNG government in stopping the spread of the virus.

Controller of the National Pandemic Response, David Manning  says  this  march is  not approved  and will not be allowed to go ahead.

“Organizers of this march will be identified and dealt with. NCD police have been directed to stop any gathering of more than 20 people around the city,” Mr Manning added.

“We are in a pandemic that is affecting the globe. PNG is no exception. There is so much misinformed, whether deliberate or otherwise, being disseminated in the social media.”

He emphasised , vaccination is not mandatory and remains a personal choice.

“Whoever is caught spreading this false information causing pubic tension will be arrested and dealt with accordingly.

“Under the National Pandemic Act 2020, I as Controller, have issued a number of measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. One such measure includes the ban of gatherings of more than 20 persons,” he said.

He however said specific measures for provinces rest  in the provincial administration apparatus set up to manage the pandemic.

“The NCD Provincial Health Authority, the NCD City Manager and the Office of the NCD Metropolitan Superintendent as a body is entrusted with deciding measures specific to the NCD and this includes whether to have a lock-down or not.

“This body, together with the National Control Centre, also approves events and activities within the city. Accordingly, this body, nor the NCC  have approved this planned protest march for Monday.

 “I appeal to our citizens to please work with us. We are in difficult times and need your help, support and cooperation. We are not your enemy. COVID-19 is. So please help us to help you.”

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