Bougainville to go into lockdown

The autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville is going into a two-week lockdown from midnight Sunday.

This follows a surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

Last weekend alone there were four deaths at the main hospital in Buka and nine cases detected on Monday and Tuesday.

During the lockdown, issued by the regional pandemic controller, Clement Totavun, all educational institutions are to continue to operate, but at new hours of 8am to 2pm.

The main town markets are to close, but road side markets can still trade.

Other businesses, and government offices, can remain open but must apply the safety protocols.

Church and sporting events are banned. Public transport and small boats can operate from 7am to 3pm.

Essential and emergency workers, and shipping operations can continue operate as they have been doing.

There will be three flights into Buka Airport each week but just for residents returning home and essential workers.

A curfew is imposed from 8pm to 6am for the duration of the lockdown period.