Australia donates Covid-19 vaccines to Papua New Guinea as cases rise

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media at a press conference at the Parliament of Canberra, Australia, March 17
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media at a press conference at Parliament’s Canberra, Australia, March 17 Lukas Coch / AAP Image / AP
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Australia to donate 8,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and seek approval of one million additional doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to help Pacific island nation contain its recent outbreak Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday.

The country will also send one million surgical masks and 100,000 gowns, gloves and disinfectant, as well as 200 non-invasive ventilators and 20,000 face shields to PNG.

It is in the interest of Australia and in the interest of our region, ”said Morrison.

Australia is suspending all outward travel, including charter flights, to PNG for two weeks starting at midnight Wednesday, Morrison said. Only freight and some aid workers will be exempt.

He also said workers who travel between the two countries should stay where they are. “The escalating virus-related problems in Papua New Guinea also present very real risks for Australia,” he said.

Morrison said he was in contact with his counterpart, PNG Prime Minister James Marape, as the growing number of cases in the country “is of great concern”.

“We have helped with some (Covid-19) tests in Papua New Guinea and out of the 500 tests that our health authorities have carried out for Papua New Guinea, 250 have come back positive,” said the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ‘State of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk lecture Monday.

PNG reported 97 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total confirmed infections to 2,269, according to the country’s health ministry.

Five new virus-related deaths were also reported on Sunday, bringing the country’s total death toll to 26, the ministry added.

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