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PNG COVID-19 cases increases to 66 as Manning calls on citizens to observe control measures
11:15 pm GMT+12, 29/07/2020, Papua New Guinea

-Papua New Guinea COVID-19 National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning has issued a stern warning to the city residents around the country to strictly observe the COVID-19 control measures to stop the spread.
Controller Manning said this following four new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. Of this one was a health worker who travelled from Port Moresby to Lae in the Morobe Province to conduct a workshop whilst three others were from the National Capital District.
Manning said the spike in the COVID-19 cases within a short period of time is evident of community transmission and warned city residents in the National Capital District and around the country to seriously observe the control measures and adapt the non-pharmaceutical practices immediately to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
“There is no time for petty politics and mud throwing. We are battling a pandemic crisis on our doorstep and it demands us to be vigilant and united to fight this virus. All efforts are being made to contain the spread.
“At this stage, we cannot say we have hot spots because we have cases coming from different parts of the city. We are all at risk. The key message is that you and I are at risk. We must be mindful that it is spreading. Therefore, the message is for us to be vigilant to protect ourselves against this virus.
“When you are vigilant and adhere to the health protocols on COVID-19 you are protecting yourself, your workmates, friends, family, community and the country.
"We will start ramping up testing starting tomorrow, we are working on establishing more venues for quarantine, and building up the capacity of beds in the Taurama Aquatic Center and Rita Flyn courts.
“We want Ito establish around 500 beds all up and increase the number of beds with ventilators so we can add 30 more to the current capacity.
“It is important that all residents assist where they can to contributing to curb the spread. From complying with directions for “masking“ to testing to abiding with Quarantine and Isolation Directions.
“We all must play our part. Observation of compliance in day 2 has seen a general compliance to the Measures. We understand accessing Masks by the general population in the city is a challenge so the NCC is working with partners and SMEs to make masks available at a nominal cost to the public. This is an investment in your personal survival and must not be compromised.
“The District Courts have been requested to continue their operations as they are an integral part to a peaceful society.
“So in conclusion I call upon every citizen to be responsible and work with us to stop the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manning says the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) has extended the deadline for all SIM card for another month to allow communication access due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
He said Information and Communication Minister Timothy Masiu has approved the extension from the end of July to Friday, 31 August 2020 for provincial urban centres and Wednesday 30 September 2020 for the rest of the country.
The extension was granted after requests from the Department of Health in view of the COVID-19 positive cases increase in the National Capital District.
Manning thanked Minister Masiu and his department and NICTA for the extension as the alarming rate of the increase has caused great concern and anxiety amongst the general population and it was important people continue to have access to communication such as mobile phones.
Under the extension,  Masiu says the use of ICT services is critical for the health and safety, progress and prosperity of Papua New Guinea therefore during these unprecedented times caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the government has agreed to allow for the extension of the deactivation deadline.
Masiu further stated it is the responsibility to ensure SIM Card registration is done well before the deadline.
Manning urged citizens to call the toll free number 1800200 from 9am today (Thursday 29 July) for COVID-19 assistance and observe the health protocols as COVID-19 is real and is not a myth or a conspiracy theory.


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