PNG’s gateway to Asia remains open despite the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the last few days.
EMTV News confirmed the Batas Shopping Centre and the Wutung Border Post in West Sepik remains open with people from both countries crossing the border without any proper medical checks for the virus.
According to the Jakarta Post, there have been no reports of the virus in Indonesia despite Jakarta being among the top ten destinations for Wuhan passengers.
This has prompted many on social media calling on the National Government to immediately shut down the border until proper measures are in place to monitor the movement of people.
The Batas market between PNG and Indonesia sees over five thousand shoppers’ and border crossers a day and remains a high risk area for the virus if no travel ban is imposed.
Meanwhile East Sepik Governor, Allan Bird, has issued a ban on people of Chinese ethnicity travelling into East Sepik on any carriers.
“I learnt that a plane load of Chinese from Hong Kong just landed in Port Moresby. They were never cleared and I have no idea what is going to happen in Port Moresby whether they are going to quarantine them for 14 days or not. So I’m shutting down my province, I’m saving my people,” Governor Bird said this morning.
Similar travel bans are expected to happen for West Sepik given the proximity of the two Sepik provinces from Indonesia.
So far PNG Authorities are yet to set up containment and check-up areas at the Wutung Border Post.
By Stanley Ove Jnr – EMTV News – Port Moresby