Pandemic a 'national security' issue

PRIME Minister James Marape yesterday issued a statement on Facebook to advise that the National Security Council had met and it was decided to elevate the coronavirus pandemic to a 'national security' issue instead of just a 'health issue'.
Pandemic a 'national security' issue Pandemic a 'national security' issue Pandemic a 'national security' issue Pandemic a 'national security' issue Pandemic a 'national security' issue

Staff Reporter

This is an edited version of what Marape had to say:
 
This pandemic is a cross-cutting issue that affects social security, the health of our country's population and economy.
 
This is not the first health scare and it will not be the last so we have been working to ensure proper protocols and procedures are in place so that there are national response protocols for Covid-19 and other pandemics.
 
This is what we intend to do:
 
• Step up on our present surveillance and management at international terminal so we detect infection - incoming passengers would require medical certification that shows 14 days of isolation - and Jacksons International is our only designated international airport.
 
• We now scaling down flights, as off Sunday next week, for a two-week trial. And we will cease flights into and out of Hong Kong, Philippines, Narita and Sydney, Honiara and Nadi. We will only have controlled entry from Brisbane, Cairns and Singapore.
 
• Four ports - Port Moresby, Madang, Lae and Kokopo - are our designated betting ports. All passengers and ship hands will go through same checking and registry procedures as air travellers.
 
• We have now put military on standby to assist if first case is established. 
They gave Taurama medical centre plus 10 medical personals for use in the first instance.
 
• The Health Minister and his team will report to NSC to ensure that we monitor global situation as well as local effects when, or if, it hit our shores. 
 
We are working with PNG institute of Medical Research to also set up mobile testing laboratories in Pom, Lae and Kokopo.
 

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