PNG PM Statement re. COVID-19: Special Clearence for International Travels and Schools Re-opening

The PM's statement on the 2nd of April was clear - people's movements are restricted to stop any spread of Coronavirus in PNG. International and local travels are restricted until situations have improved in the country.

png response to coronavirus

There are considerations for schools to open on the 27th of April 2020.

Furthermore, the PM hinted to consideration for special clearance for international travels via Brisbane, Cairns and Singapore. Schools, churches and gathering of people in large numbers are limited in order to protect the health and welfare of the general public.


Travel and Education info is sketchy at present

Travel information is expected to be made clear following the PM's statement. This blog expects the Education Minister (the Ministry) and the Education Secretary (the Department) to make formal announcements regarding the re-opening of schools for the commencement of term 2.

School Closure & Learning Intervention

In the event that coronavirus is detected in PNG - and schools are to close indefinitely - what are the intervention measures? In an earlier post, PNG Insight discussed several ways to make homeschooling fun.

We also discuss media and tech interventions, and radio and TV learning strategies for schools and teachers to help students and parents in times of serious shut-down.


Key Points re COVID-19 PNG

Here are key points (for more info refer to the full statement below Source: PMJM Facebook page):

  • 14 days shutdown expires on Monday, April 6th 2020
  • Resumption of domestic flights as of Tuesday 7 April 2020 for the main centres (Pom, Hagen, Lae, Madang and Rabaul)
  • All schools to remain on Term 1 (and Easter) Holidays. Term 2 commences on Monday 27 April 2020 depending COVID-19 situation in the country.
  • Churches, workplaces and public gathering must now readjust to a minimal number of persons (small groups) with a safe distance of work and socialization.
  • For those overseas trying to travel in, we (the govt) will do special uplift from Brisbane. Cairns and Singapore under special clearance from Controller when we establish your medical clearances and you will be isolated here (in PNG) for 14 days.

PM's Statement - reposted

Today we are living in an environment of insecurities due to coronavirus. The virus is moved when people move from place to place. The world and our next-door neighbours have a greater number of infected persons and our weak health care systems, the government had to take a responsible approach. Within that context, parliament passed an extension to the State of Emergency (SOE) for a further two months. The SOE is not meant to harm us but protect us from the spread of Corona Virus (C19). By the expiry of our earlier SOE induced 14 days shut down, the isolation strategy was to keep C19 from spreading its presence in our country. We are mapping our country on C19, thank God Yahweh so far our country is free of virus. But that does not mean we become complacent. Based on global and regional medical trend and evidence before the Government on the dangers of lack of protective measures, our country stands totally exposed to the devastation C19 can cause to our people and economy. Today’s SOE extension will have operation orders that are less restrictive depending on the situation going into the future. For instance, by next Tuesday ( if we C19 free by Monday ) we will resume all domestics flights, will allow PMVs to operate, markets to operate, work to resume etc. Our 21 provinces will be our coordinating centres and three key coordinating people are the PPC, PA and CEO of PHAs. We will push in April to have C19 centres in Weom, Kiunga, Vanimo, Telefomin and Wewak. We will also work with Bougainville Government for a post in South Bougainville. I ask all citizens that this is trying times, just because there is no infected person presently is no reason for us to be complacent. Your freedom remains but for public safety including yourself, the Controller can make an intervention at individual or group or provincial levels going into the future. Churches and workplaces and public gathering must now readjust to a minimal number of persons (small groups) with a safe distance of work and socialization. We will make further announcements including the safety of our children at schools, considering pieces of evidence, trends and presence of C19 after the 14-day isolation phase expires next Sunday. For those overseas trying to travel in, we will do special uplift from Brisbane and Cairns and Singapore under special clearance from Controller when we establish your medical clearances and you will be isolated here for 14 days. God bless PNG. JMPM! Source: 2nd April 2020, Facebook

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