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ABG extends State of Emergency for another two months

The Bougainville House of Representatives voted unanimously to extend the current State of Emergency period on Bougainville for another two months with the intention of total shutdown.

This now means that the two months’ extension will continue when the current 21-day period ends on Monday April 13, 2020.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis, when delivering his statement, described the coronavirus pandemic as a human crisis and the regional and global trends continue to increase at an alarming rate.

President Momis highlighted that the current situation calls for immediate responses from relevant authorities to tackle the health, social and economic dimensions of this crisis.

“It is a call to focus on people – women, youth, low wage workers, small and medium enterprises, the informal sector and on vulnerable groups who are already at risk,” he said.

While the ABG’s Department of Health as the lead agency, has activated its emergency response plan, other sectors also need to provide their support to ensure a whole-of-government approach.

“Social, economic and security sectors need to provide their support plans to the Health Department in the fight against COVID-19. Bougainvilleans cannot continue to spectate, complain and blame others while people are dying. I am calling on every Bougainville citizen to stand up and join your government and fight this menace that has crept into our backyard,” Momis said.

President Momis reiterated the government’s priority objective in this situation is to ensure all Bougainvilleans are protected and to keep all people, households and businesses afloat in this crisis.

“Economic policy should meet people’s most immediate health, food and other basic needs, protect social cohesion and maintain political and economic stability,” he said.

Since the declaration of the 21-day State of Emergency in Bougainville on March 23, 2020, the ABG has adopted a constituency-approach in dealing with COVID-19 awareness and counter measures, and this approach will be strengthened with further support to the Bougainville Police, local community governments and health workers who are the main front-liners in this crisis.

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