PNG tightens rules as Covid threat grows

1:17 pm on 16 September 2021

As Papua New Guinea prepares to celebrate its 46th independence anniversary, one of the major events has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Blurred llustration of Covid-19 Corona Virus


The three-day Goroka Show, which typically attracts people from around the world, has been called off because of a resurgence in covid cases.

poster for the now cancelled Goroka Show

poster for the now cancelled Goroka Show Photo: from Facebook

The Eastern Highlands administrator, John Gimiseve, said in the first two weeks of September, 24 new cases and four deaths were recorded in the local hospital.

"That is very alarming and serious for our people,'' he said.

Currently, the Goroka Hospital isolation ward is full with critically-ill Covid-19 patients.

The controller of the National Pandemic Response, David Manning, has also tightened rules around quarantine.

PNG Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning

PNG Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning Photo: EMTV

He said no unvaccinated foreigners will be allowed into the country, while PNG citizens and permanent residents, returning to the country will have to quarantine for 21 days.

Manning has now classified the two western border provinces of West Sepik and Western as high-risk regions.

This follows revelations eight people have died from Covid in Western Province in the past week.

While efforts continue to have Papua New Guineans vaccinated, the Health Minister Jelta Wong said the country was very happy to send a consignment of vaccine to Vietnam.

Papua New Guinea's Health Minister Jelta Wong

. Photo: EMTV

PNG agreed last week to hand over 30,000 doses of Astra Zeneca to Vietnam, rather than let them go to waste.

Wong said "countries acting in solidarity and supporting each other in times of need is the best thing we can do and also the right thing to do".