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16 Jun 2020 | 11:25 AM UTC

Papua New Guinea: Authorities announce end of state of emergency from June 16 /update 11

Papua New Guinea News Alert

Prime Minister announces end of state of emergency from June 16; abide by government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/16/2020, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Port_Moresby). COUNTRY/REGION Papua New Guinea

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Event

Prime Minister James Marape announced that the state of emergency has been lifted as of Tuesday, June 16, amid the easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Additionally, some emergency restrictions put in place under the state of emergency will begin to ease such as restrictions on public movement, although strict social distancing measures will remain in place. Marape further announced that the National Operations Centre (NOC) will remain in place once the state of emergency has lapsed on June 16. The NOC will carry out the National Public Health Act which will allow the government to quickly impose new restrictions on the advice of health and medical experts if needed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

A ban on international flights remains in effect while the countries borders are closed. 

As of June 16, health authorities have confirmed eight COVID-19 cases and no associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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