Jiwaka Governor Dr William Tongamp, has expressed concerned about the current COVID 19 situation.
In a media release dated Monday 13th of April, he says Health care and personal hygiene is one of the major development priorities of the Jiwaka Provincial Government.
Dr. Tongamp and his team comprises Police, senior management of Provincial Administration, PHA and partners had worked tirelessly over the last four weeks to make Jiwaka free from corona virus.
From a bird’s eye, the possible spread of the deadly virus COVID 19 pandemic should it enters the populace highlands region the people of Jiwaka would be venerable to get infected because they live along the stretch of highway that operates 7-24.
Movement of traffic and people from the coast of Morobe and Madang in Momase into the third city of the country Mountain Hagen and onto the resource gold, oil and gas rich Southern Highlands, Hela and Enga provinces makes it high risk for Jiwaka like others to contact the corona virus.
When the National Government declared country wide 14 days lockdown during the first positive corona virus case Jiwaka, the Provincial Government and its administration wasted no time to convene an urgent meet to address the disease in the province.
Tongamp, has since allocated K 1.7 million to the Provincial State of Emergency Team (SOE) to combat the killer virus.
The allocation of monies from the provincial government to respective agents involved were for awareness, identification, diagnosing, quarantine and treating of possible infections in the province.
A brand new Toyota land cruiser 10 seater was purchased and given to the Provincial Health Authority to use for COVID 19 awareness in the province.
Dr. Tongamp in a community service announcement said K 200,000 was given to Kudjip Provincial Hospital operated by Church of Nazarene to equip the hospital to test and screen interested person (s).
He said “as of today (Monday) the hospital attended to over 400 persons of interest/patients from which two samples sent to institute of medical research IMR in Goroka and test results sent back were negative.”
To date, K 700,000 was allocated for PHA to prepare Kendeng, Nondugl and Kimil health centres to receive any patients if identified, carryout awareness and preparedness for the virus.
Alongside that, K 140,000 was given to police operations in the province to monitor the check points in Muide at Simbu border and Highlands Agriculture Training Institute at the border with Western Highlands. It also covers patrols within the province to implement the SOE.
The provincial Government has also provided K120,000 to stock fuel to supply both police and health workers to use for COVID 19 awareness and SOE operations.
Additionally, K 130,000 allocated to FM Jiwaka to disseminate information and carryout awareness using radio throughout the province. Another K 50 000 allocated to increase police manpower during the duration of the SOE.
The three members from the province include Anglimp South Waghi, North Waghi and Jimi are yet to join the provincial government to prepare for possible attack of the virus.
The Jiwaka COVID 19 team is meeting every morning for briefing to update on the situation in the province.
Like the GoPNG and other province in the country Jiwaka Province is doing its best to make the province free from corona virus.
All betelnut (buai) markets include roadside fried lamb flaps stands and street vendors throughout the province were stopped as part of the COVID 19 operations.
Sales of liquor in the province is still banned as night clubs told to cease operations while movement of people within the province is monitored daily.
Jiwaka people are told to improve their own personal hygiene through social distancing, wash hands, stay home and eat fruits and vegetables.
The Provincial Government and its team were hard on work since day one when the national government declared 14-day lockdown.
The COVID 19 SOE is another opportunity for Jiwaka to now concentrate on upgrading and improving the health care facilities in the province now and in future.