Crack down on international flights
20 March 2020
| NBC News
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea is shutting down international flights amid Coronavirus fears.
Flights in and out of Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Sydney, Honiara and Nadi will cease next Sunday.
Prime minister James Marape said flights will be limited so as to only allow “controlled entry” from Brisbane, Cairns and Singapore.
Mr Marape said incoming passengers will require medical certification to show that they have undergone 14 days of isolation before arriving in PNG.
Initially, for one week, no inward passengers will be allowed to land except for specially credentialled personnel, like medical staff.
Outbound passengers will be allowed to fly as usual if they are accepted to pass border control at their destinations
Mr Marape said that Jackson's International is the only designated international airport for international flights.
There will be similar restrictions applied to four designated sea ports where similar checks will be conducted - Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and Kokopo.
Prevention is better than cure. Thanks prime minister.
Posted by: Kenny Pawa Ambaisi | 20 March 2020 at 11:57 AM
I think this is very wise.
As PNG awaits to hear if any of the few suspected cases of Coronavirus infection returns a positive result, it is paramount to protect the citizens from this potentially devastating virus.
As it turns out, I am in Australia at this time and under self-isolation, simply for being an international traveller. The fact I came in from PNG, where no cases of Covid-19 had been identified at that point, seems a moot point.
The reality is that I had virtually no chance of becoming infected in PNG and am far more likely to be infected by my family during my time in isolation than of me infecting them, however I do agree fully with the need to take drastic measures to halt this insidious contagion.
I did consider remaining in PNG rather than returning to Oz, but there were of course many considerations to ponder in a very short space of time. Now of course, I cannot return before the borders are closed due to my self isolation.
Hopefully Papua New Guinea remains Covid clear and I do look forward to returning sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I'm already bored and I am missing my PNG friends greatly.
I worry about the effect this will have on the PNG economy. Already, the small tour company I am involved with has had a 100% cancellation rate of tours, for which we have refunded to our clients 100% of their deposits.
This means there is no cash benefit into the communities with whom we work. We are but one small business and I expect a similar situation is unfolding across the country.
I wish for everyone in PNG, to remain safe and healthy until we see change in this awful situation.
Posted by: Ian Ritchie | 20 March 2020 at 07:35 AM