The COVID-19 Emergency Controller for Bougainville is calling for calm across the region following reports of a first case in the region.

Francis Tokura told The Bougainvillean moments ago that people should not panic, because emergency and health response teams have the situation under control.

Deputy Controller and Health Secretary, Clement Totavun, says they have a response team in Arawa and will be keeping a close eye on the case if it gets serious.

"The team will be in Arawa for at least a week. The patient will be isolated in Arawa while his entire family will also be qurantined."

Controller Tokura says all 55 passengers on the flight into Buka had returned negative tests from the PNG Institute of Medical Research, except for the male student.

"We are doing contact tracing on all those that he's come in contact with at Lynchar in Buka and all those he's travelled with in the vehicle down to Arawa.

"The patient is from Central Bougainville.

"The patient is fine and stable and has not shown any signs of the COVID-19."

The recent 14-day imposition of an emergency period will lapse on August 12, next Wednesday on polling day, and Emergency and Health teams are considering a possible extension with further measures.

"I will be issuing restrictions on public movement soon and further restrictions on flights coming into the region. People should stop moving around unnecessarily, practice social distancing and wash hands regularly.

"With elections coming up I will also be issuing orders to observe when polling gets underway. We have the situation under control so people should remain calm, not panic and comply with health and safety measures we've been advocating all along."

Source: The Bougainvillean