PNG talks Covid-19 prevention with Indonesia

8:17 pm on 8 July 2020

Papua New Guinea has sought assurances from Indonesia that it will help to prevent Covid-19 spreading across the border.

Andriana Sutandy and Westly Nukundj

Andriana Sutandy and Westly Nukundj Photo: PNG Government

Indonesia has more than 66 thousand cases of Covid-19, including more than 2000 in West Papua. PNG has confirmed 11 cases.

Border Security Minister Westly Nukundj met with Indonesian Ambassador Andriana Sutandy in Port Moresby this week, ahead of the second repatriation of 100 PNG citizens from Indonesia controlled West Papua later this month.

A similar number were allowed back across the border in May.

The Port Courier reported the discussion focussed on border protection, border infrastructure development and cooperation after the virus is overcome.

"Covid-19 is present in Indonesia and the chances of being spread into PNG by land are very high," Mr Nukundj said.

"We have security forces minding our border but we have to work together through an understanding to ensure the virus does not spread over to PNG."

Mr Sutandy expressed gratitude for the safe repatriation of 24 indonesians last month, who were working on the PNG LNG Project, for Oil Search and other firms.