PM warns against movements across western border as COVID-19 increases in PNG

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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has signaled out the western border as the biggest threat to COVID-19 entering into the country with the growing number of cases in Papua New Guinea and he calls on all leaders in the border to stop all movements their people across the border.

Speaking during his weekly address on COVID-19 updates, Sogavare said: “Our biggest threat now is at out western border. The situation in Papua New Guinea has significantly deteriorated. The total number of cases there now stands at 110, and that number is defiantly going to increase further. They now have 2 confirmed deaths. Furthermore, it is now confirmed that there is local community transmission. The seriousness and gravity of this situation and its implication for our people and country must not be ignored or brushed aside. This threat is very real and serious.”

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He continued: “Therefore, I ask the Chiefs, elders, community leaders and the people of Shortlands, Choiseul and Malaita Outer Islands to stop any movements across our borders.”

“I also ask that you all cooperate with our law enforcement officers to keep our people and country safe by reporting any person who crosses over from PNG. I also ask that any person who assists border crossers must be reported to the relevant authorities as well. The security and welfare of our people and country takes precedence over all other interests,” he said yesterday.

He also announced that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development are preparing plans for establishment of quarantine sites in Nila health center in the Shortland Islands in addition to those existing at Gizo. He added the Ministry of Health is also sending mission to strengthen the health center with the establishment of triage and isolation facilities— additional trainings are being planned for all Health care workers in Western and Choiseul Province.

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