The Prime Minister James Marape, MP called on the Governors and Provincial Administrations to strictly enforce and comply with COVID-19 measures in their respective Provinces and Districts following the recent upsurge of COVID-19 cases.
He made the call at the APEC Haus at Era Kone yesterday, where he hosted the first of a series of monthly Governors Meeting to address the heightened COVID-19 situation.
In urging the provinces to effectively respond to the pandemic, the Prime Minister appealed for collective and concerted efforts by all Governors through their respective Provincial Health Authorities (PHAs) to provide a cost analysis on their needs to enable the National Control Centre (NCC) to disburse funds and report accordingly.
The Prime Minister emphasized on the need for the Governors to remind their people of the new Containment and Isolation Strategy to strictly enforce and comply with the ‘Niupela Pasin’ of Wearing Masks, Washing Hands and Social Distancing.
“This will greatly minimize the risks of spreading the virus,” he said. He further stressed on the importance of pursuing non-clinical practices to support on-going clinical efforts in the fight against COVID-19 including prevention of movements within and between provinces.”
“As the first recipient of the AstraZeneca Vaccine, I appeal to all citizens to voluntarily be vaccinated given the recent upsurge of COVID-19 cases to protect you and your family when the rest of the vaccine from the initial 8000 for the frontline health workers is rolled-out,” the Prime Minister said.
During the Briefing, the NCC Controller and Commissioner of Police, David Manning provided a detailed and comprehensive account of measures undertaken by the Government since the first case of COVID-19, in March 2020.
The presentation included an up-to-date budget and expenditure nation-wide, statistics of COVID-19 cases in provinces including NCD, lack of capacity and logistics in Provincial and District Hospitals and most importantly, lack of fully kitted intensive care beds for citizens who have contracted the virus.
For example, there are only 200 intensive care beds nation-wide which is not enough to cater for the increase.
“I want to see the number of fully kitted intensive care beds increased nation-wide in the immediate to long-term, and I have tasked the Health Secretary, Dr Osborne Liko and NCC Controller Manning to address the acute shortage of beds and other related medical needs and accessories as a matter of urgency,” the Prime Minister said.