Minister Wong made this comment when he received Personnel Protection Equipment from Oil Search.
He said the critical personal protective equipment is to be distributed across hospitals and medical clinics in consultation with the National Department of Health (NDOH) and Provincial Health Authorities (PHAs) in Hela, Southern Highlands and Gulf Province. He said this assistance complements the work Oil Search medical services team and Oil Search Foundation are already providing in these areas.
Dr Keiran Wulff, Oil Search Managing Director, commended the PNG Government’s disciplined and considered response to protecting the country from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has restricted the potential for widespread outbreaks in PNG.
He outlined the government’s efforts have also enabled PNG’s resource companies to work closely with the government to ensure that the industry continues to operate efficiently under the government’s COVID-19 guidelines during these challenging times.
Dr Wulff said the hospital grade equipment to be distributed includes over 250,000 disposable masks, 100,000 medical hats, 100,000 medical gloves, 10,000 face shields and 5 million millilitres of hand sanitiser.
Dr Wulff said: “We look forward to working in close partnership with the National Department of Health and PHAs to deliver PPE supplies in Hela, Southern Highlands and the Gulf Province and the support provided through the donation of PPE is hoped to play an important role in helping to prevent and minimise any potential spread of COVID-19.
“We will work with the authorities to ensure that what we have provided is distributed through the PHA’s own system, aligned with their COVID-19 emergency plans.
“Oil Search has taken extensive steps to ensure safe and reliable operations in response to COVID-19. Having recognised early the potential for incidences of COVID-19 to escalate globally, the company formed a dedicated COVID-19 Taskforce charged with taking measures to minimise the potential for the virus to impact our people, operations and the communities in which we operate.
“These measures include suspending discretionary activity, demobilising non-essential staff from the field, implementing revised field rotations for expatriate staff, establishing quarantine zones in the field and isolating business essential personnel, increasing medical and field supplies and introducing infectious disease protocols.”
(Health Minister Jelta Wong looking at hand gloves that were part of the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] donation from Oil Search. Looking on are Oil Search’s Wayne Kasou – Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & PNG Executive Support, right, and Oil Search Foundation’s Annie Turi - Contracts Specialist)