Sunday, March 22, 2020

PM Marape announces 14-day lockdown

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today announced a 14-day lockdown starting Tuesday, March 24, to arrest spread of the coronavirus.

PM Marape at today's announcement
Please click below to watch video

"Today, based on advice from the COVID-19 National Operation Centre (NOC 19) and National Security Council (NSC) recommendations, the National Executive Council, in an emergency meeting,  decided on the following measures in light of first positive case of COVID-19 in our country," he said.
" This is a national security issue now and not just a health issue, but a cross-cutting issue  including effects on economy, law-and-order and education of our children, amongst other effects.
"So far, we have done trace of the person that came into our country, and he remains to date our only positive person who is in isolation and recovering.
"To clearly demarcate our country from spread and for Government to take stock from this bio(security breach, we are taking the following measures.

" 1. Confirm this first case and its impact to ensure we contain it, including treating, curing and sending the victim back to Australia.

" 2. Take stock of all entries into PNG after 7th of March to ensure all are checked, tested and status of health affirmed. All who have come in or those that have come in contact with those who came into PNG since 7th of March are to report to the hotline below.

 "3. Declare a State-of-Emergency for 14 days starting on Tuesday, 24th March, in which the Commissioner of Police will assume control assisted by a callout placed on military to ensure lawful order, control and response to  SOE control measures.

" 4. Following on our stop of incoming international flights, we are now stopping all domestic flights for the next 14 days starting on Tuesday this week.

" 5. We direct that as of Tuesday, 24th March, 2020, no public transportation of people and no movement from one province to another for a 14-day period. Only approved cargo and medicine and police /military personnel will be moving. It is a 14-day lockdown in our country wherever you are.

" 6. The Provincial Governors and their Provincial Administrators, with Provincial Police Commanders and respective Provincial Health Authorities, will be control points in all provinces.

" 7. All heads of departments and private companies are to embrace safe workplace practice and non-essential staff are asked to stay at home for the next 14 days.

" 8. Education and Higher Education departments are asked to advance first-term holiday as of tomorrow, 23rd March, and the next 14 days are to be school holidays.

" 9. All who have come into the country as from 7th March, 2020, or those who made contact with those who came into the country from that date, please report, call or text the hotline below.

" 10. No border crossing by foot or canoe and police /army presence in border areas will be stepped up.

" 11. Banks, financial institutions and super funds will be mobilised to work with Government on economic packages in this down time.

 "12. The SOE Controller, through the Office of Prime Minister, will be the only official point of releasing statements to public.

" 13. The SOE Controller will issue details on how citizens and our country respond and behave in this time. Breach of these will be punished as offence in times of emergency.

" 14. ICCC will ensure prices of all goods are within lawful range.

 "15. We are setting a multi-sector agency task force to report to the National Security Coordination Centre 24/7.

" 16. All foreign friends of PNG in our country: Your embassies and missions are  available including our Foreign Affairs Department, to assist you in this time of lockdown.

" 17. All these will be reviewed after the 14 days, during which we would have mapped the presence of COVID-19  in our country.

" 18. PNG is a Christian country. We declare that Wednesday , 25th March, 2020, becomes a national day of fasting and prayer. For the next 21 days, prayer and fasting can continue for those who want to do it.

" We have now divided the country into zones to isolate this virus from spreading.

" 1. Mid PNG Zone from Morobe and Madang Provinces into the entire Highlands.

"2. Central Papua ( including NCD, Central and Gulf).

" 3. New Guinea Islands Zone.

"4. Sepik Zone.

" 5. Western Border Zone.

"6. Eastern Papua Zone.

" 7. Bougainville Zone.

"The SOE Controller will delegate the PPCs to police the zones to ensure compliance to these control measures.

" We will get through this phase.

"We ask for cooperation from all citizens, residents and businesses houses.

" Hotline toll free-number is 1800 200 and Bmobile 019, Digicel 71960813.

"God bless PNG." 

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