PNG courts close for a week after judge tests covid positive

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Court Sheriff John Mike (right) checks people under covid-19 protocols in the Supreme and National courts complex. Image: The National

Asia Pacific Report

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme and National Courts in Port Moresby will be partially closed for a week beginning yesterday after a judge has been tested positive for the covid-19, reports The National.

Registrar Ian Augerea said in a statement the closure was to prevent any further infections to both judicial and administrative staff.

“During the closure, only essential staff will come to work,” he said.

“Judges will continue to work as per their individual schedules and their personal staff will continue to work to assist them. Court rooms will be closed today to allow for deep cleaning and will open on Monday for court hearings next week.

“The number of persons entering court rooms will be restricted to key people associated with a case.

“Security personnel are to ensure compliance and number of people entering court grounds be regulated.

“The building division will now commence deep-cleaning of all courtrooms, chambers and office space in the Waigani compound.

“A schedule will be issued once arrangements are in place so that all judges and staff are informed of the cleaning activity,” Augerea said.

He said the National Judiciary Staff Services Covid-19 team would be working to bring onsite test facilities for judges.

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The National front page yesterday 5 March 2021. Image: APR screenshot

He encouraged all staff to use the free test facilities in suburban clinics.

“My office will distribute to all chambers and managers offices masks, gloves and hand sanitisers.

“All staff are encouraged to use the protective gear whilst in the office and courtrooms,” he said.

Asia Pacific Report republishes The National articles with permission.

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