A task force team set up by the National Capital District is expected to stop all public gathering including sporting events and church activities as precaution measures against COVID 19.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop after the assembling of a Joint Committee including health and police officers announced additional efforts that Port Moresby resident must practice.
These measures include the possible closure of schools and markets if a confirmed case is reported in Port Moresby, practicing social distancing and clean hygiene habits.
“I want to call on the Sporting Federation to take that step as well, we all should stop public meetings, we should communicate in other ways and not in a public meeting where is a mass assembling of people. On my part as the governor, I have asked our Program Manager for Active City to stop all our walks and stop all the public program ”
Parkop said the NCD Provincial Health Authority is on call and health officers are working with the National Department of Health in the efforts against the Coronavirus.
The National government has declared COVID 19 as not only a health issue but a national security threat that will affect our developing economy.
Police officers will be engaged in the awareness phase in NCD to enforce directives decided upon by the NCD Taskforce team.
NCD and Central Divisional Commander Anthony Wagambie Jnr, said police in Port Moresby had an emergency meeting with their superiors at the Police Head Quarters yesterday.
“Our duty is to mainly ensure there is normalcy in the community. When panic breaks out, we expect a lot of opportunists to take advantage of the situation and try to disrupt the normal activities in the city. We will have made rushes to the shop, we will have chaos when this sort of panic comes about, so as alluded to by the governor, Let us not panic. This situation is handled by the health authorities and they are the lead agency and we (police) are here to adhere to whatever directions they give, Wagambie said”
The police force will see additional manpower assistance from the Australian Federal Police and are expected to work closely with St John Ambulance when medical officers respond to suspected cases.
So far, the death toll from COVID 19 has reached over 8,800, about 4,700 deaths have been reported outside of mainland China.
As of this morning, the coronavirus has spread to 156 countries since December 2019 and infected nearly 219 000 people.
But while the debate by Papua New Guineans on whether the virus can survive in a tropical environment continues, health specialists say the virus affects the human respiratory system and children are the most vulnerable.
By Theckla Gunga, EMTV News, Port Moresby