The Interim Chairman of the Tourist Industry Association in Madang has pledged the association’s support in preventing COVID-19 in the province.
Sir Peter Barter set up a meeting with the provincial COVID-19 team in July to obtain the latest progress on the set up of facilities for the possible introduction of COVID-19.
The Association’s concerns represents all hotels, tour operators and airlines operating in Madang.
Sir Peter Barter in a statement said the main concern is for prevention, testing, quarantine and isolation of future persons who test positive to COVID-19.
Sir Peter says after 5 months, preventative work in Madang has largely been carried out by a group called MAM funded by the private sector and recently World Vision.
Like many other provinces, Madang also has large informal settlements, many without water and sanitation and are living in close contact with each other.
Furthermore, remote regions are difficult to access and in the event the virus is detected in Madang it could place the lives of many people at risk.
Even social distancing remains a major concern in markets and PMVs including coastal boats where it is constantly overcrowded.
Given the situation Madang is in, Sir Peter told the COVID-19 team that the industry wants to work with the team to examine ways to set up facilities in preparation for possible cases.
The Madang Tourist Industry Association remains steadfast that after COVID-19, economic activities can be restored.
He added the travel and tourism industry is amongst the hardest hit throughout the world and Madang is no exception.
But the main concern is to work together in partnership to save lives.