21 Aug 2020

Nauru removes PNG from safe countries list

7:51 am on 21 August 2020

The Nauru government has issued an updated travel advisory removing Papua New Guinea from its safe countries list.

A Nauru Airlines pilot, donned in Covid-19 prevention gear, waits for local officials to collect flight manifest documents. No passengers or crew deplaned from Friday's flight to Majuro, which took about 10 passengers out of Majuro.

A Nauru Airlines plane in the Marshall Islands. Photo: Giff Johnson

PNG is struggling to contain Covid-19 with 359 cases confirmed there yesterday, the majority in the capital Port Moresby.

Nauru remains covid free but continues to prepare its health facilities for a potential outbreak.

The government said special requests from individuals for coronavirus testing prior to departure from Nauru would soon be accommodated but it would be a paid service because it falls outside mandatory testing requirements.

Nauru has also been working to allay fears surfacing in the community that the coronavirus could be imported on cargo.

Residents are being informed that there is no evidence of the virus being transmitted in this fashion anywhere in the world.

The government said 41 passengers who arrived on a flight two weeks ago had all now completed testing and quarantine. The majority of them are employed by Canstruct, the Australian company managing the offshore detention of about 200 refugees on Nauru.

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