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PNG Government denies entry for travellers to China since 31 January
9:37 pm GMT+12, 17/02/2020, Papua New Guinea

Passengers who have travelled to China, since 31 January will be denied entry into the country.
 
Minister for Health, Jelta Wong by virtue of the powers under the Quarantine Act 1953 and of the Public Health Act 1973, had taken out a notice declaring no entry to those travelling in from China.
 
“Unless they have spent 14 days in a country outside of the designated region prior to arrival in PNG, proof of this is to be demonstrated through evidence of an entry stamp.
 
“This stamp must show more than 14 consecutive days outside of the designated region.
 
“This includes Chinese nationals, foreigners, PNG citizens and permanent residents.
 
“Failure to comply with this direction will result in the person being returned to their original port of departure,” the notice read.
 
This warning comes after the coronavirus issue was debated in Parliament last week.
 
Former prime minister, Peter O’Neill, warned that the country’s economy faces a major threat in the next 10 months, and treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey appealing for calm, while responding to opposition questions about the the budget.
 
Before the notice being made public, Wong had read a statement pertaining to the virus.
 
He said the country has taken several steps to be above the virus.
 
Wong also made a call to his MPs to help the Health Ministry by allocating financial resources.
 
“To support the provincial health authorities for health promotion and vigilance, we want to protect ourselves and our families from a new and unknown disease,” he said.
 
Meanwhile, 17 PNG students are among 157 individuals who still remain in managed isolation in Whangaparaoa after arriving at Auckland International Airport on 05 February.
 
New Zealand High Commission First Secretary Adam Linnell confirmed this last week when asked to give an update on the status of the students who are undergoing quarantine.
 
Asked how long they would be detained before returning to PNG, Linnell said the period of managed isolation for all returnees from Wuhan was scheduled to end on Wednesday, 19 February.
 
“This is subject to change, and depends on all returnees successfully passing regular Minister of Health screen tests,” he said.
 
“This is subject to change, and depends on all returnees successfully passing regular Minister of Health screen tests.
 
“Ministry of Health officials and New Zealand Police anticipate that final screening and discharge documentation would be completed at the earliest on the afternoon of 19 February.
 
“We are working with Papua New Guinean authorities and the PNG High Commission in Wellington to communicate the necessary arrangements for the onward travel and repatriation of the Papua New Guinean students currently in Whangaparaoa.”
 
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said it was currently preparing an update on the status of the 17 PNG students in New Zealand and discussions for their return arrangements were ongoing between all stakeholders.
 
Minister Patrick Pruaitch recently said these students were evacuated with assistance of the New Zealand government.
 
“The government of PNG had been negotiating the evacuation since 31 January when Australia and New Zealand reached out to PNG through formal diplomatic processes in Port Moresby.
 
“For these students to return home to Port Moresby, it is the responsibility of the PNG government to bring its citizens home,” Pruaitch said.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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