The global community that we are all part of continues to face a serious health crisis that is causing great human suffering and is upending people’s lives.
Many countries around the world have seen a rapid increase in the number of infected cases and deaths which tells us that this virus is not to be taken lightly.
Papua New Guinea has reported a total of 65 cases so far, with an alarming increase of COVID19 cases currently being experienced in Port Moresby.
The increase in the number of COVID19 cases in Port Moresby means that there is a high risk of community transmission taking place within the Nation’s Capital with the possibility of transmission to other provinces around the country.
For us in Bougainville, our main focus over the recent past has been to prevent the coronavirus from entering our borders. The Bougainville Emergency Controller had effectively established tight restrictions on all flights and ships coming into Bougainville, including restrictions on movement of people around the region.
Our current internal prevention and control measures will be further strengthened with enhanced border surveillance at all entry points.
The Bougainville Emergency Controller will be making announcements on some new orders that strengthen the current control measures. All this is being done to ensure that Bougainville remains protected from the deadly virus.
Following intensive efforts of the Bougainville Health Response Team with the support of our development partners, we have established our quarantine and isolation facilities. We also have our Triaging Centres operational in all three regions.
While we do not have any confirmed cases in Bougainville, I want to remind all Bougainvilleans that the virus does not discriminate between people. I urge each and every one of us to remain vigilant and strictly adhere to the key health preventive measures.
I would like to remind us all that the emergency orders are for the good of our people and for Bougainville. These are very challenging times, not only for Bougainville but for the rest of the world and we must all work together to ensure we are kept protected and safe.
We must not be ignorant or complacent at this time. We must ensure our people are kept informed with official information and to prevent any rumours that could cause unnecessary fear or panic among our people.
I acknowledge the efforts of all our front liners especially our health workers across Bougainville, our Police Service, Customs and Border Authorities and our development partners who have all been working tirelessly over the emergency period.
Lastly, I encourage us all to practice good hygiene in our families and communities. Simple things such as washing your hands often, keeping a safe distance from others or simply staying at home, is how you can help in this fight against the deadly coronavirus.
HON. CHIEF DR JOHN MOMIS, GCL, MHR
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