As of December 21, 2020, Papua New Guinea has 761 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9 related deaths. Before the country had registered its first case, the government banned all travellers from Asia and closed its border with Indonesia on January 31. The first case on March 20 triggered an immediate shutdown for two weeks, and the reporting of the second case on April 6 prompted a state-of-emergency which extended the shutdown until early May. A second wave beginning in late July led to curfews in hotspot regions and a domestic travel ban. Key sectors of the economy (commodity, tourism, agriculture, and transport) have plummeted as a result of the pandemic. The Australian and Chinese governments, in addition to the World Bank, have provided bailouts to prevent the state from collapsing. Meanwhile, the government produced a stimulus package worth over C$2 billion directed mainly at strengthening health infrastructure and propping up small businesses and agriculturalists.
Scary COVID Spike in PNG Threatens Population, Economy (July 31, 2020)
Pandemic’s Impacts to Reach the Depths of the Pacific (May 13, 2020)
PNG Nationalizes Canadian-owned Gold Mine (April 27, 2020)