The Papua New Guinea Government plans to shift the powers of National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning to the Health secretary, says Health and HIVAIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu.
Sir Puka said the transfer arrangement was the subject of an amendment to the National Pandemic Act 2020.
“When Parliament agrees, and based on the amendment to the bill, the powers of the (National Pandemic Response) Controller would be transferred to the Health secretary,” he said.
“The powers of the Controller David Manning who is also the Commissioner of Police would be moved to the Health secretary or his deputy,” he said.
Manning will return to his role as Police Commissioner. Sir Puka said PNG would have to learn to live with the Covid-19.
“We need not fear. Through the Prime Minister, we have allowed our economy to open up, markets to open, PMVs to operate.
“But we must make sure to wear masks, wash hands and practise social distancing.
“The children are now getting used to washing hands and that’s a good practice. Those issues must still be observed.
“Social distancing, wearing masks wherever possible especially in confined areas such as the Parliament House and washing of hands are important.
“While we maintain that the economic impact if we have lockdown would be far worse than the health impact because our rates are low.”
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