New Protocols for Fijians in PNG
March 26, 2021 4:50 pm
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong.[File Image]
The Ministry of Health is concerned about the welfare of Fijians in Papua New Guinea where COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly.
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says as a response Fijian authorities are introducing new protocols for Fijians on repatriation flights from PNG.
“We have to make adjustments because we know there’s a huge amount of outbreak and we, unfortunately, do not have a complete picture because the number of testing is not really enough to tell us exactly what’s happening. So we have to take some mitigating measures.”
Dr Fong says all travelers from PNG including Fiji citizens have been stopped from coming into the country until heightened measures are in place.
While there are unconfirmed reports of some Fijians having contracted COVID-19 in PNG, the Permanent Secretary for Health says they are unable to assist at this stage.
Dr Fong stresses that new control measures will kick in before any flight leaves PNG and they will be maintained through the flight until the aircraft lands in Nadi.
“Currently we discussed that they will need to do three tests in a row, day ten, day five, day three, all have to be negative, on in-flight we will have to separate the travelers from PNG from the rest of the travelers and there are other things like you can’t serve food, the cabin crew minimal interaction, when they get off, the low-risk group will come off first before the PNG travelers will come out.”
The first flight to Fiji from Port Moresby is expected to arrive on April 9th.