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Papua New Guinea Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Patrick Pruaitch has issued a warning that there is zero-tolerance for illegal border-crossers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pruaitch, who attended the West Sepik provincial executive council meeting as Aitape-Lumi MP, warned that law enforcement agencies would upscale surveillance and monitoring with the latest increase in confirmed cases in Port Moresby.
“We have seven border posts in West Sepik Province, the National Government will move in to monitor the borders,” he said.
“If you want to move illegally across the border, the law will catch up with you and be harsh on you.
“This disease will not spread without the movement of people.
“The disease spreads when people move around.”
He appealed to the people of West Sepik and Aitape west coast to take heed of the government measures to curtail the pandemic.
Pruaitch said the National Capital District had reported an increase in cases.
“The disease is already in PNG,” he said.
“If we do not contain it in Port Moresby, it will spread to the provinces, districts and wards.”
“It’s a big challenge because Papua New Guineans do not practise social distancing. Shaking hands is not enough, we want to hug. Stop it.
“It does not mean yu koros (you are mad), it is important to look after your health and life.”
Pruaitch urged the provincial government to support farmers sell their vanilla in Vanimo instead of crossing the border into Indonesia.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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