Effect emergency control measures immediately at all entry points into PNG to stop coronavirus reaching the populace, the National Doctors Association (NDA) relayed through the media to the government. It is believed that Port Moresby General Hospital is not equipped to handle cases of coronavirus infection and it has no specialist virology team or equipment to manage infection.
As per the government’s latest directive, Air Niugini will not carry passengers who have been to Wuhan city or Hubei province during the past three weeks. The airline said that for passengers travelling out of Singapore, Hong Kong and Manila, or transiting through these airports, to PNG there were full quarantine screenings and checks being carried out by authorities at these respective airports to clear passengers.
The East Sepik provincial government has imposed a travel ban on all Chinese travellers into Wewak.
Opposition leader Belden Namah has called for a closure of ports and ban on flights, passengers and cargo out of China until health authorities confirm that the coronavirus epidemic is containable and that it is not a threat to human lives. Health Minister Jelta Wong, in a statement, said Papua New Guinea has no case of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV but had heightened alert to detect any possible entry.
“How does he know the virus is not here? Has he scanned every traveller into PNG at any one of our ports of entry in the past week? Just because nobody has been diagnosed with the virus does not mean it is not here or that the danger has passed,” Namah said.
Papua New Guinean students who are studying in China are taking extra precaution to avoid the deadly coronavirus. PNG students returning home from universities in China are required to produce medical clearance forms to prove they are safe from the coronavirus. Acting Health Secretary Paison Dakulala said everyone had to go through the process to protect the country from the coronavirus.
The border crossing between PNG and Indonesia at Wutung in West Sepik has been closed indefinitely because of the threat posed by the coronavirus, says Governor Tony Wouwou.
This means a stop to any trade activities and movement of people across the border.