Prime Minister James Marape on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea has extended condolence and sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives to the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China.

He said this, as PNG steps up efforts to minimize the risk of the virus entering the country.

The Prime Minister said the World Health Organization has now declared Coronavirus as a global emergency and with PNG’s geographical position puts it at a high-risk area.

Marape said people should not panic as the Health Department and other relevant agencies are keeping a close eye on the situation.

He said all nationalities wishing to travel to PNG from Wuhan will not be uplifted until further notice and individuals traveling from affected countries are encouraged to get medical clearance before traveling.

He said all vessels coming through the seaports will be redirected to Port Moresby for screening before continuing their destination and the same applies to the land border with Indonesia.

The Prime Minister further added that the Government is also very much concerned about Papua New Guinea citizens either living, studying or working in affected countries around the world, especially in China.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have set up a help desk to assist families in Papua New Guinea to find out what is happening on the ground with their loved ones.

Foreign Affairs is maintaining contact with those who are in China through the PNG Embassy and the Embassy of China here in Port Moresby.

Mr. Marape said this is a new virus that has yet to reach PNG shores but measures are in place to prevent this deadly virus from entering PNG.

NBC News

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