WORLD PNG PM declares state of emergency over COVID-19

WORLD

PNG PM declares state of emergency over COVID-19

Xinhua

12:50, March 23, 2020

SYDNEY, March 23 (Xinhua) - Papua New Guinean (PNG) Prime Minister James Marape has declared a nationwide state of emergency in the country after the nation confirmed its first COVID-19 case, according to reports reaching here from Port Moresby.

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James Marape (File photo)

The state of emergency will start from Tuesday and last for 14 days, the reports cited a PNG government statement issued on Sunday as saying.

During this period, the Commissioner of Police will assume control assisted by the military to ensure lawful order and abiding to control measures.

Following the ban on inbound international flights, all domestic flights, public transportation and interprovincial travel will be stopped for the next 14 days from Tuesday. Only approved cargo and medicine and police or military personnel will be allowed to move.

Military and police forces in border areas will be beefed up to stop border crossing on foot or by boat.

"It is a 14-day lockdown in our country wherever you are." Marape said, "We will get through this phase."

Provincial governors, administrators, police commanders as well as respective health authorities will be control points in all provinces.

All heads of department and private companies are required to embrace safe work practice and non-essential staff shall stay at home for the next 14 days.

Schools will take the first term holiday as of Monday, and the next 14 days are to be school holidays.

At the same time, the government will work with banks, financial institutions and super funds on economic rescue packages.

PNG confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Friday. The government said it will monitor the COVID-19 situation in the country and review relative measures after the 14 days.  

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