The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has been put on alert as the health minister formally declared the COVID-19 as a “quarantinable disease” under the country’s health laws.
Yesterday, the National Security Council met to discuss additional control measures in light of the worsening crisis in Australia and surrounding countries.
Today, Prime Minister, James Marape announced that overseas flights from Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Sydney, and Nadi will cease as of Sunday next week and there will be controlled entry from Brisbane, Cairns, and Singapore.
“We are now scaling down flights next week…We have now put the military on standby to assist if a first case is established. Their medical facilities and officers (doctors and engineers) will be engaged for now and future pandemics.
“They have given us the Taurama Medical center and 10 medical personnel for use,” Prime Minister, James Marape said.
Through a Government Gazettal notice, the Health Minister, Jelta Wong, listed a series of actions supported by existing quarantine legislations stating he was satisfied that the magnitude of the pandemic warranted the measures.
The list of countries that fall under the 14-day pre-entry quarantine includes 27 European member states. Australia, where the majority of expatriate mineworkers come from, has been excluded.
“The following countries are proclaimed places under section 12(a) of the Quarantine Act 1953 and are infected with quarantinable disease being COVID-19: The people’s Republic of China (only including mainland China), South Korea, Iran, The European Union, United Kingdom, and the US.”