This was supported by the PNG-Australia Partnership in an emergency meeting in Port Moresby this week.
At the meeting, Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Jelta Wong, said churches are a key partner to the Government, with their extensive networks, and were trusted local leaders that would be called upon to support efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“This includes asking people to regularly wash their hands, stay at least one metre from people in public and stay inside for 14 days if you come into contact with a sick person, as it takes this time for the virus to show symptoms and this will prevent it from spreading,” said Minister Wong.
“The Government in declaring a state of emergency will be exercising its partnerships across the public, private and non-government sector elevating our Churches to help us prepare for this threat right from the village level to our major cities.”
Australian High Commission Minister-Counsellor, Andrew Egan, reiterated Australia’s support to PNG’s churches and asked church partners to redirect resources, using Australian funding, to support the PNG Government’s response to containing COVID-19.
The Government of PNG has set up a COVID-19 response call centre at Morauta Haus, Waigani, for general enquiries on COVID-19, through this toll free number 1800 200.
(Church leaders and Government representatives listening to Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Sir Puka Temu, explaining the Government’s response strategy for COVID-19)