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All supermarkets and minimarts in West Sepik have been ordered to shutdown as a result of the state of emergency today 5pm.
This has however been received with mix reactions- few describing it as ‘harsh’.
The West Sepik Inter-agency committee responsible to coordinate and prevent the Covid-19 virus entering the province has informed the people through a notice.
Apart from the closure of shops for 14 days, there shall be no markets, and gathering of communities, churches or institutions.
Nigh clubs, pubs, gaming outlets which include pokies, and bingo are also suspended.
The Covid-19 committee has also suspended liquor trading until further notice with all schools closed and total lock down of international travelers into West Sepik by sea, land or air.
Logging and commercial agricultural operations have also been advised to cease operations and people were restricted from travelling on foot, using land transport or sea between districts or provinces.
Senior public servant Gregory Kapanombo and few others though feel some measures may be too harsh.
“Good stringent measures but I guess may be too harsh with closure of all stores and super markets for 14 days. Could have been relaxed. Our citizens along the border may take this restriction to cross the border,” he said on a social media forum.
Glenn. G .Poivi feels closure of shops was conflicting with the Prime Minister’s statement.
A sentiment also echoed by Sylvester Naiyon:
“Closure of shops is against the PM’s statement. This is too harsh for unemployed citizens and low income earners whose survival depends on fortnightly wages.”
A public servant from at Green River who does not want to be identified says there have been restrictions on vehicles travelling between Vanimo and Green River and store goods like rice and sugar have run out.
Governor Tony Wouwou has instructed Provincial Administrator Conrad Tilau to enforce the state of emergency and appealed to heads of departments and private company managers to embrace safe workplace practice and non essential staff are asked to stay at home for the next 14 days.