International Relations. Papua New Guinea press review
Eight Papua New Guineans and two Japanese arrived in Port Moresby from Japan. The flight sponsored by the Japanese Government. Foreign Affairs Minister Patrick Pruaitch was present to welcome them home. According to Pruaitch, the Government was working closely with the Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts overseas to firm up the numbers of our citizens overseas. The data firmed up so far by the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade is that there are 789 citizens stranded, who seeking assistance to be evacuated.
Foreign Affairs Minister Patrick Pruaitch also announced that the Papua New Guinea citizen who tested positive to COVID-19 in Laos has recovered and has been released from quarantine.
The Australian government has committed $A9.6 million (K21.4m) in funding to PNG’s provincial health authorities and the Autonomous Bougainville Government to support provincial COVID-19 preparedness and response activities. Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Jelta Wong also welcomed the support of the government and people of Australia. Funds will support surveillance, clinical management, and infection prevention and control.
Moreover, Australia and New Zealand have sent four vehicles to the Department of Health of Bougainville to help support its efforts to keep COVID-19 out of the region. The Health Secretary Clement Totavun said the vehicles would be invaluable in supporting Bougainville’s emergency responses and preparedness plan.
French Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Philippe Janvier-Kamiyama says they have confidence with the Papua New Guinea Government in handling this COVID-19 pandemic. According to Kamiyama: «There are 40 French nationals here in Papua New Guinea». Mr. Ambassador also said feedback from the French population in PNG was that the PNG government has set necessary rules and confident that the country would be fine if the rules are respected and followed.
20 Papua New Guineans illegally residing in Indonesia, have approached Jayapura-based PNG Consul General Geoffrey Wiri to be repatriated home. Mr. Wiri said that this group had been living as Indonesian citizens but had asked to be included with 96 PNG prisoners and 18 other PNG citizens set to be repatriated home.
According to Wiri, he had advised the 20 to surrender to the Indonesian police and immigration authorities first and be dealt with under their immigration laws for the Indonesian officials to advise the PNG consulate on what course of action to take.
In total, there are 142 positive cases in Papua and West Papua and 68 of these cases were reported in Jayapura.