'No mask no entry' for customers in PNG capital

4:05 pm on 19 August 2020

Shops in the Papua New Guinea capital of Port Moresby have been told to enforce a 'No Mask No Entry' policy as Covid-19 cases escalate.

A two-year-old is among 14 new cases of Covid-19 in Papua New Guinea, bringing the country's total to 347.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape announces a two-week lockdown in the capital Port Moresby amid a surge in covid-19 cases, 27 July 2020.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape announces a two-week lockdown in the capital Port Moresby amid a surge in covid-19 cases, 27 July 2020. Photo: PNG PM Media

All the new cases were detected in Port Moresby. The National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning said many of the city's residents were continuing to ignore health protocols.

"These are: wash hands often, cover your cough or cough into your bent elbow, do not touch your face, avoid crowds, practice physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres and disinfect all frequently-touched surfaces as well as personal items such as phones and laptops."

Manning said the city's shops, buses and taxis must also adhere to the 'No Mask No Entry' policy.

"There is no cure for Covid-19 and the only way to stop the transmission in the country is for people to obey or follow the health protocols against Covid-19.

"We cannot continue to live or operate in ignorance. Let us all do our part and help protect our frontliners which are not just health workers, but disciplined forces and volunteers who are risking their lives to protect our citizens."

Meanwhile, the controller said the first case of the coronavirus detected in Milne Bay province had been placed in isolation.

The case, an 18-year-old female who has not recently traveled out of the province, was announced on Monday.

Cases have now been detected in 11 of PNG's 22 provinces.

Manning said contact tracing had begun in Alotau to prevent the virus spreading further. Schools had been closed for two weeks in Milne Bay province to help with contact tracing, he said.

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