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Papua New Guinea

PNG calls for help as COVID surges

Papua New Guinea has been forced to call on more aid to assist health authorities with the latest surge of Covid-19 cases.

The aid came in response to a request made by the national government for humanitarian and medical support.

As the Delta variant has taken hold across the country, New Zealand sent a medical team, a logistics support team and more medical supplies, which arrived in Port Moresby at the weekend.

PNG covid aid
Workers sort out supplies that arrived from New Zealand at Jackson International Airport in Port Moresby. Picture: Supplied.

Two New Zealand defence force logisticians and an environment health officer will be based at the Covid-19 national control centre in the nation’s capital to deal with the ongoing crisis.

Two doctors and three nurses, two fire and emergency logisticians, and a representative of New Zealand’s ministry of foreign affairs and trade is also set to be based in Bougainville.

New Zealand has provided nearly $US10 million (K35million) in Covid-19 related support to PNG since the start of the pandemic last year.

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China also added a further $US800,000 (K2.8 million) to assist PNG’s Covid-19 response in a further demonstration of its growing influence in the region.

The Chinese ambassador to PNG, Zeng Fanhua, personally presented a cheque to PNG prime minister James Marape on Friday.

The donation followed a phone conversation between China’s president Xi Jinping and Mr Marape 17 days earlier.

PNG expects donations of medical equipment that include ventilators, oxygen generators and oxi-meters to arrive soon from China.

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