PNG allows Chinese infrastructure workers back in
Papua New Guinea has granted approval for 175 Chinese citizens to return to PNG to complete major infrastructure projects around the country.
The controller of the National Pandemic Response David Manning said those returning included construction managers and employees of major Chinese state-owned enterprises.
They are involved in work on big government infrastructure projects which are behind schedule. Despite border restrictions in place in PNG due to the pandemic, the government wants the projects to resume.
The controller said the Chinese would be required to do a mandatory seven day medical check before flying into the country. They will also undergo 14 days quarantine in designated hotels in Port Moresby upon arrival.
Manning said the workers given approval to return were "stranded" abroad since the outbreak of covid-19 and need to get back to complete the infrastructure projects which are funded by various international finance institutions including the Asian Development Bank.
The projects include a hydro power station, major provincial airport redevelopments, highways constructions as well as the construction of the new National and Supreme Court building.
"The funding will be cancelled should we fail to complete these projects on time for whatever reason. We do not want this to happen as these are important projects that will have a positive impact on our people and country," Manning said.
"They are not trade store workers or visitors. They are important contract workers and will be here for six or more months.
He said authorities would take all necessary precautions to ensure that Papua New Guineans' health was not put at risk by the return of the Chinese.
"We will ensure they are put through a stringent testing regime and quarantine protocols which we have insisted they undergo prior to coming to PNG and upon their arrival," Manning said.