All the schools in the country will shut down at the end of this week following a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
This announcement was made by the National Pandemic Controller David Manning at a Press Conference in Port Moresby.
Controller Manning said they have had discussions with the Secretary for Education Dr. Uke Kombra that all schools will start their term 1 school holidays next week Monday 22nd March.
This means that schools will start off their term one school holidays 2 weeks earlier than the scheduled dates because of these COVID- 19 surges.
Manning further stated that these 4 weeks is the first phase of the Isolation Strategy and another three week period will follow after.
“Within the 4 weeks, specific aggressive interventions will be carried out on how best we can harass the COVID-19 surges not only in the Nation’s Capital District but all the provinces currently experiencing Covid-19 surges.”
He further stated that Community Transmissions have been taking place throughout the country for the last couple of weeks and its slowly creeping out to our largely rural populations.
Manning further announced the initial 1st phase of the 4 weeks isolations strategy that will focus on how best we can manage the surges by putting down hard control measures in place.
The first measure is to Isolate provinces from each other, and that is to allow the surveillance teams to map out hot spots in those provinces which are experiencing the spike in cases.
COVID-19 Testings will be stepped up in all the provinces, whereby Provincial Health Authorities will be scaling up their responsibilities.
All schools to be closed as of next week Monday and for the next 4 weeks of the Isolation strategy period.
Furthermore all Domestic travel will also be affected as off next week onwards.
“Cargoes by air and sea will continue but it’s the passengers now that will fall into five categories of essential travels,” said Manning.
In carrying out all these Isolation Strategies, there is a proposal and recommendation to all the disciplinary forces to work closely with the council of churches and community health workers to assist with the roll out of the isolation strategies.
During the 4 weeks of rolling out the Isolation Strategies all essential services like shops and business houses will still operate with essential staff.
PMVs will continue to operate as well but capping down on the number of passengers and mask wearing is mandatory on all Public Motor Vehicles.
Controller Manning said as of 12pm, 16th of March 2021 total number of Covid 19 cases in the country is 2479.
And in the last 24 hours we have recorded 128 new cases with total Covid 19 deaths is currently at 31.
Out of the new 128 cases, NCD has the highest number with 53 new cases which brings the total Covid 19 cases in NCD to 1159.
Every Citizen is now urged to continue practise COVID-19 protocols at all times, wearing of face marks, sanitizing of hands and social distancing is mandatory and this is to help clamp down the recent spike in the country.