Papua New Guinea has declared a state of emergency to avert a possible coronavirus outbreak in the island country, local media reported on Tuesday.
According to the daily Post Courier, the decision was announced by Prime Minister James Marape and the government will now regulate movement of people, vehicles, and goods.
The country, which confirmed its first COVID-19 case last Friday, has grounded all domestic flights for the next 14 days.
The Papua New Guinea Defense Force is also on alert, while public servants have been allowed to work from home.
In New Zealand, authorities are mulling over whether to use cargo planes to bring home citizens stranded abroad, daily New Zealand Herald reported.
New Zealand, which has 155 confirmed coronavirus cases, is imposing a lockdown from Wednesday night to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The virus first emerged in Wuhan, China, last December and has spread to at least 168 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.
There are over 382,644 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide and the death toll now tops 16,500, while over 101,800 people have recovered, according to real-time data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.