MHMS boosts presence in western border

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MINISTRY of Health and Medical Services is stepping up its presence at the Western Border due to the worrying covid-19 situation in PNG and Bougainville.

Incident Controller to the Health ministry, Dr Gregory Jilini said they are now increasing their presence in the border to support other frontline agencies.

“Next week we are going to send a team of five from the headquarter to go and support other frontline agencies at the border.

“The team will include our surveillance officer, clinician, infection control and also risk communication. They will be embedded with the Police and other front-line agencies at the border.

“We need to step up our presence there because of the growing number of cases in Bougainville.

“I would like to appeal to our good people in Border to compile with Standard Operating Procedures. I think restriction of movement have been put in place so we must protect ourselves from covid-19,” said Jilini.

He said with the increasing number of cases in Bougainville, it’s important all avoid coming into contact with neighbours from Bougainville.

“If there are contacts it would be good to inform our team at the border and Health authorities so we can quickly quarantine the contacts and to roll our testing.

“We also liaising with our team from Western and Choiseul province to step up surveillance at border. The only way to monitor weather we have COVID-19 is first thing to monitor influenza like illnesses and we have our syndromic systems to monitor cases,” said Jilini.

Jimmie Rodgers, deputy chair to Oversight Committee and secretary to the Prime Minister said health staff will join Police on a monthly deployment.

“This supplement Western Province and Choiseul province and Malaita Outer Island Health services.

“This means we have for the first time a more complete border force,” he said.