Healthcare. Papua New Guinea press review
Papua New Guinea has made considerable efforts to prevent cases of COVID-19. There are self-isolation the closure of international borders and some restrictions on the holding of public events in the country. In an effort to prevent COVID-19 arriving by sea, Hon. James Marape announced that sea arrivals would be confined to the three declared ports of Motukea (Port Moresby), Lae and Rabaul.
Prime Minister marked vital that PNG took action now while there was a buffer period before potential widespread transmission, as projected in modelling by the World Health Organisation (WHO). «There’s an indication, because of the presence of coronavirus in the region, in May and possibly the third-quarter of the year there could be a spike, or a couple of instances of spikes, in corona if we don’t continue to have stiff prevention measures put in place right from the start» – said Hon. James Marape.
According to the United Nations Development Programme data, there is currently 1 case of COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea – it’s a 45–year-old mine worker who arrived in Papua New Guinea from Spain via Singapore in early March.
State-owned enterprises of Papua New Guinea are also making significant contributions to the fight against the COVID-19. According to the Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) is donating K1 million worth of petrol to police, and has also supplied 12 vehicles for police operations in National Capital District and Central Province of Papua New Guinea. Sasindran Muthuvel also marked, that the assistance was in response to requests from the State of Emergency (SOE) Controller, Police Commissioner David Manning.
It’s important to mark, that other state-owned enterprises in Papua New Guinea also provide assistance in the fight against coronavirus. For example, Ports PNG and Water PNG have donated additional personal protection equipment for health staff around the country, and Post PNG is helping transport medical supplies from the Badili stores to the airport to be flown by Air Niugini to the provinces.
Telecommunication companies Telikom and DataCo have connected the National Operations Command Centre (NOCC) at Morauta Haus to the internet at no cost.
On advice from Commissioner Manning, Air Niugini’s 767 is on standby to fly to any international location to obtain medical supplies such as test kits and personal protection equipment (PPE). Air Niugini is also providing trained call centre staff to the Department of Health call centre. Moreover, to protect PNG from the spread of the disease, Air Niugini is regularly updating and cancelling flights from destinations with high infection rates, replacing headrest covers on every trip through Port Moresby and using enhanced screening processes in ports where they are necessary.
«All SOEs are involved in awareness campaigns and these are substantial contributions» – Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel said.
According to Sasindran Muthuvel, donations and help of State-owned enterprises – «are very substantial contributions to protecting Papua New Guineans from this deadly virus […] State-Owned Enterprises play a critical role in national life, and I am pleased to be able to extend our efforts for the duration of the emergency».