Worsening COVID-19 outbreak in PNG prompts urgent response

PNG release April2021 C

A worrying surge in coronavirus cases in Papua New Guinea has prompted an urgent response, following a call from the World Health Organisation to help fight the country’s worsening COVID-19 outbreak.

Since Easter, the number of people who tested positive has almost doubled. The Australian government will send thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and has flown in special medical teams to assist and support. It’s expected more will follow.

The situation is especially critical in the rural and remote parts if the country.

At the start of the pandemic last year, Fr. Victor Roche SVD, Secretary for New Evangelization and Pontifical Mission Societies in Papua New Guinea reached out to Catholic Mission, fearing the disease would spread fast in these parts, due to the country’s communal society.

Catholic Mission provided funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other vital materials, such as face masks and hand sanitiser, for urgent distribution to protect rural and remote communities against further infection.

Catholic Mission is committed to standing in solidarity with our friends, partners, and people in need around the globe. We also continue to other our prayers and thoughts to people suffering from this across the world.

National Director of Catholic Mission, Fr Brian Lucas, acknowledged the support that other Catholic charities in Australia are providing for PNG.

“Catholic Mission will continue to liaise with the Pontifical Mission Societies in PNG and provide such assistance as the national director Fr Victor Roche requests,” he says.

Pope Francis has appealed for a global coronavirus recovery plan, in a letter published by the Vatican.

“Our world has been forced to confront a series of grave and interrelated socio-economic, ecological, and political crises.”

“It is my hope that your discussions will contribute to a model of ‘recovery’ capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions to support the real economy, assisting individuals and communities to achieve their deepest aspirations and the universal common good. “

“The notion of recovery cannot be content to a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth."