Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has urged the people of Papua New Guinea not to be misled over issues of COVID-19 by people with vested interests.
He said this in response to the “no jab, no jab” protest outside Parliament today led by well-known activist and political candidate Noel Anjo and others.
PM Marape said there was no need at all for a protest when Controller David Manning had already looked at COVID-19 protocols and requirements at work places, especially with the “no jab no job” stance by some employers.
“Our Government’s headline policy of non-mandatory or non compulsory vaccination remains, as I told churches just little over a week ago,” he said.
“With workplace safety issues, we will soon release testing requirements to all employers so we find a balance between workplace safety rights and rights of individuals in respect to vaccination choices.”
PM Marape said Anjo and others might not be aware but they may be used by Opposition politicians in the lead-up to the 2022 General Election to fuel public strife to cause disturbances in the lead-up.
“In November 2020, the country witnessed ugly politics that disrupted Government work, but they were unsuccessful, " he said.
"These same sponsors of political instability are bound to cause disturbances under the pretext of 'national interest' .
“The whole country came to a standstill last November, and now this act of desperation is emerging, taking our people’s misunderstanding for a ride.
"I appeal to our people that COVID-19 IS real, it can be fatal to the weak and unvaccinated.
" Hence, Government has allowed for vaccines to be available for those who want to be vaccinated.
"We also are working with our employers to tailor a new ‘ niupla pasin’ at work place. Those who do not want to vaccinated can be tested and remain at work instead of a blanket ‘no jab no job’ stance by employers
“I appeal to our good people not to be misled by people with vested interests, including Opposition, Government and intending politicians.
"We are doing everything possible to ensure our people’s interest is placed at the forefront, while at the same time allowing for our work place to functional."