PNG’s National Pandemic Controller Office says as of this week 170 new cases of COVID-19 cases were recorded, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in PNG to 8,984. 2 deaths were also recorded during the same period. The Autonomous Region of Bougainville also recorded 2 new COVID-19 cases, bringing their total to 149.

In response the Oversight Committee recently endorsed the Western Border COVID-19 Response Plan 2021. The plan was developed by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) with inputs from the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) which have teams engaged in the joint response at the Western Border.

In a recently released statement the National Disaster Council (NDC) says that the Response Plan was developed to step-up government’s capacity to respond to border incursions following the surge of COVID-19 cases in PNG.

“The plan utilises a series of scenarios to guide responses to be used by the multi-agency response teams stationed at the Western border.

“Based on the response plan, each agency has prepared their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for swift response should there be a breach of border travel restrictions and protocols,” the statement said.

NDC said the plan will guide Government agencies such as Health, Police, Customs, Biosecurity, Immigrations, Provincial Emergency Response Team, Western and Choiseul Provincial Governments, with the support of FAMOA Council of Chiefs.

Coordination of the SIG Joint Operations Team (SIG-JOT) at the Western Border will be managed through the On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) at Nila station, Shortlands by a multi-sectoral government team.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his nationwide address this week repeated his call on people over eighteen years living in border communities to be vaccinated when the Government’s vaccination programme reaches them.

Source: NDC Media Release