Healthcare. Papua New Guinea press review

Restrictions on domestic air travel in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been lifted and new directives are in effect:

1. There are no limitations on any domestic travel.
2. For international inbound travel, from Australia (excluding Victoria), New Zealand, and most of the Pacific Islands inbound passengers now only have to home-isolate for seven days. Where segregating at home is not possible inbound passengers still need to hotel quarantine for 7 days.
3. Passengers arriving from other international locations still need to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days.
4. All inbound international passengers still need to complete a negative PCR COVID test within 7 days prior to travel.
5. All inbound international passengers coming into PNG still need to get Controller Approval in advance. Passengers transiting Port Moresby to Australia or to other locations do not need to get Controller approval.
6. Air Niugini has now had its passenger cap into Brisbane increased to 50 passengers per flight, and with no limit into Cairns. Air Niugini continues to fly to Brisbane (five times/week), Singapore (four times/week), and Cairns (once/week).

Due to quarantine requirements in Fiji, Vanuatu, or the Solomon Islands there are presently no scheduled flights to these countries. AirNiugini expects to announce the recommencement of scheduled flights to Hong Kong and Manila shortly. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is presently no in-flight catering provided on flights. [2]

The curfew imposed in Port Moresby for residents to be indoors from 12 a.m. to 5 a. m. under the National Pandemic Act has been lifted. This basically means that restrictions on the movement of the general public are now removed. [3-4]

To date, there have been a total of 549 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea, including 532 active cases, 10 recovered cases, and 7 fatal cases.

Newly appointed Health Minister and Member for Abau, Sir Puka Temu has been referred to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office charges. The Public Prosecutor has the discretion to bring or decline to bring proceedings under the Leadership Code.
Dr. Osborne Liko has been appointed as the new Health Secretary. Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Sir Puka Temu formally made this known on October 8 during the handover takeover ceremony for the Ministry that was formally headed by Jelta Wong. [5-7]

PNG Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has committed PGK5 million towards rebuilding the paediatric, nutrition and tuberculosis wing of the East Sepik health authority. The commitment came after his tour of the hospital in Wewak. He realised that work on rebuilding the hospital’s particular wing did not start due to lack of funding. [8]

However, funding is becoming the major setback for authorities fighting the African swine fever disease and the incursion of Fall Army worms in Papua New Guinea, says the head of the National Quarantine and Inspection Authority Joel Alu. Mr. Alu marked that African swine fever outbreak in the Southern Highlands Province has been contained in the province. «It has not spread to Western Highlands, Jiwaka, and it has not very much spread to Hela and Enga, » Mr. Alu said. [9]

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