Attackers of COVID-19 POI, patients warned

During the COVID-19 update this afternoon, Prime Minister James Marape did not mince words when issuing a warning to especially social media users who were relentless in their attack towards the East New Britain woman and even her province.

“The penalty that comes to those who commit that offence, under the state of emergency period, are higher than normal penalties that are afforded to similar crimes in normal circumstances,” Marape said.

WHO and UNICEF to partner on pandemic response through COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been set up to facilitate an unprecedented global response by supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. As part of the agreement, an initial portion of the money from the Fund – which currently stands at more than $127 million – will flow to UNICEF for its work with vulnerable children and communities all over the world.

Five ENB villages locked down

Since the confirmation of the first case yesterday, police moved to lock down the Raluana LLG villages of Ialakua, Baravon, Unamurmur, Vunatagia and Bitabaur.

ENB provincial police commander (PPC), Joseph Tabali, told this newsroom that the 40-year-old woman, who is from that area, has complied with their instruction to remain in her house, while her village and four others have been closed off. 

“No one is coming out to go to Kokopo or Rabaul,” said PPC Tabali. 

Govt yet to pinpoint origin of COVID-19 transmission

In a media briefing this afternoon, Police Minister Bryan Kramer said the 40-year-old developed flu-like symptoms on March 19th, where she received antibiotic treatment from the Nonga General Hospital.

ANG clears misconceptions

This statement was made to correct many misconceptions by the general public.

ANG’s inbound international flights only airlift cargo, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other associated medical equipment as so directed by the Government.

“We are not carrying passengers on inbound flights unless they are part of the Government’s efforts and are medical and critical personnel to tackle the coronavirus issues,” stated the airline.

K100,000 for South B’ville COVID-19 response team

The K100,000 is part of a K1.5 million funding assistance to the response team approved by the South Bougainville District Development Authority Board at its recent meeting in Buin.

Priority programs and activities already underway include awareness, which also entails sensitisation and training of health workers and stakeholders as well as surveillance and control of movement along the PNG-Solomon Islands border.

PIF Forum Foreign Ministers to consider regional response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In a letter to all Forum Leaders on 30 March, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi, recognised that “we find ourselves in extraordinary times and circumstances where the very mettle of our nations and governments are tested beyond any limits that we have known in our lifetime”

Senior Officials of the Pacific Islands Forum have met to discuss and elaborate a possible regional response mechanism that would ease the coordination of supplies and assistance to the member states.

New Zealand Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID

Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will:

ENB on 21-day lockdown

Prime Minister James Marape, when making the announcement this afternoon, said domestics flights from ENB to Port Moresby were scheduled to resume but because of ENB’s case, specific operation orders will be issued by the SOE Controller to the provincial authorities.

PNG’s second COVID-19 case confirmed

The 40-year-old woman is a local resident of Kokopo in East New Britain Province.

“She’s a local person, she’s not coming from outside,” he told media.

“She’s kept in isolation while her village is in lockdown.”

The PM said the PNG Institute of Medical Research in Port Moresby picked up tests from persons of interests in ENB.

“At a time when the tests were picked up from three persons of interest, two returned negative while one returned positive this afternoon.”