My people , my country PNG,
Yesterday National Security Council met and we elevated the Covid 19 ( corona virus ) to a National Security issue instead of just health issue.
This pandemic is a cross cutting issue that affects social security , health of our country’s population and economy.
And this is not the first health issue and scare and will not be the last so we have been working to ensure proper protocols and procedures are in place so that this covid 19 or future endemics/pandemic has a national response protocols.
Our response thus far and into the future are;
1. Step up on our present surveillance and management at international terminal so we detect infection, (Nt: incoming passengers would require medical certification that shows 14 days of isolation) and Jackson’s is our only designated international airport.
2. We now scaling down flights, as off Sunday next week ( trial for two weeks). And we will cease flights into and out of Hongkong, Philippines, Narita and Sydney, Honiara and Nadi. We will only have controlled entry from Brisbane, Cairns and Singapore.
3. Four ports ( Pom, Madang, Lae and Kokopo ) are our designated betting ports. All passengers and ship hands will go through same checking and registry procedures as air travellers.
4. We have now put military on standby to assist if first case is established. Their medical facilities and officers ( doctors and engineers ) will be looked at as places and personals to be engaged now and for future health pandemics.
They gave Taurama medical centre plus 10 medical personals for use in the first instance.
5. Our health minister has been doing good job so far, his team will report to NSC to ensure that we monitor global situation as well as local effects when and if it hit our shores. Trust account facility has been opened, K13 million has been wired thus far of money allocated and we meeting weekly to ensure humanly what we can do is being done.
I thank Members of Parliament and Governors who are willing to sacrifice district and provincial funds to assist in this fight.
We will keep on mobilising resources, and World Bank has issued it’s willingness to give us U$20million in assistances.
6. We thank Port Moresby Gen Hospital , and our health personals for stepping up including fixing a quarantine or isolation ward. We also working on a isolation area at 6 mile and looking at other centres outside of city and Port Moresby too.
7. A network of bilateral partners and private sectors are ready to assist in every and any phase of this epidemic.
8. We continue to promote healthy lifestyle and discourage our people to mass gather in social and communal activities.
9. Our traditional border crossers are stopped from crossing, PNG citizens are discouraged from leisure outward flight and public servants (including politicians ) are banned from overseas travel for 60 days.
10. Lastly but not the least we pray to God to continue protecting us and for ourselves to remain positive in an environment of uncertainties.
We commend Hon J Wong and our Ministers and Public officials for doing their utmost best thus far since January when the corona virus broke through in China.
I thank YAWEH GOD ALMIGHTY for protection on PNG thus far. He will still protect us but He has also given us mind to respond and prepare and that’s what we have been doing since January.