Bougainville lockdown may go on

THE pandemic controller in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville says the lockdown could be extended but there are no such plans at the moment.
Bougainville lockdown may go on Bougainville lockdown may go on Bougainville lockdown may go on Bougainville lockdown may go on Bougainville lockdown may go on

Clement Totavun

Staff Reporter

Bougainville was put into a two-week lockdown a week ago as Covid-19 cases soared in the province, Radio New Zealand Pacific reported.
Controller Clement Totavun said that as of the weekend, it was estimated that 10 deaths were recorded over in the past month, with more than 170 people infected in the same period.
He said the lockdown was being strictly managed with contact tracing and a requirement that anyone entering the main town, Buka, could prove that they are virus free.
"The positivity of those that have been contacted is quite low at the moment but we are monitoring the situation and if the number of cases that are followed up begin to increase again, we will consider extending the lockdown. But as it is there is no plan for extending the lockdown," he said.
Totavun said there was a lot of negativity on social media about the virus and the vaccine which was having a serious impact on Bougainville.
He said his communication team was doing what it could to turn around these views.
"Our risk communication team is working around to develop key messages that will be disseminated to our people to give them the correct and factual information about Covid and the vaccine .That will give us some leverage to what we can do to contain the situation, which is serious. But we are confident we will be able to contain the situation here," the Bougainville pandemic controller said.
Meanwhile a New Zealand team has been deployed to PNG to support the Covid-19 response.
It includes a logistics component comprising two New Zealand Defence Force logisticians and Defence Force environmental health officer who will provide support in Port Moresby.
A clinical team of two doctors and three nurses from Respond Global, two Fire and Emergency New Zealand logisticians and a Foreign Affairs official will be based in Bougainville to support the Bougainville Department of Health.



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