PNG’s New Ireland steps up security after second case found over border


New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan says the provincial government will ensure communities are protected.  Video: EM TV News

By Jack Lapauve Jnr in Kavieng

With neighbouring East New Britain recording a second positive Covid-19 case and the Papua New Guinea total rising to five, New Ireland province is stepping-up its surveillance.

Governor Sir Julius Chan said the provincial government would use its resources to ensure communities were protected, and warned of Covid-19 and its threats.

Governor Chan said the pandemic would affect the flow of government services for an uncertain extent of time.

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Speaking in Kavieng, Governor Chan said the virus had now “proven its capabilities” and Papua New Guinea was challenged to address its threat.

He said people were now urged to follow health directives including state of emergency (SOE) orders.

New Ireland is classified under Code Green. A budget of K450,000 is being used for awareness, border surveillance, curfew and other SOE orders.

While these measures are being implemented, Governor Chan said it was crucial for people to adhere to these measures.

Social distancing
He encouraged washing of hands, social distancing and limited movement.

After East New Britain recorded a second positive case, New Ireland was now keeping surveillance on its borders.

Chairman of the New Ireland Taskforce Team Lamiller Pawut said those breaching the law would be arrested and charged.

Meanwhile, 104 individuals have been identified as “persons of interest”. Of these 12 samples had been sent for testing with all returning negative.

While the SOE is in place, Governor Chan said essential government services would be affected, including infrastructure plans.

He urged communities to be calm as levels of government worked around the clock to stop further transmission.

Jack Lapauve Jnr is a reporter for EMTV News. Asia Pacific Report republishes reports with permission.

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