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OFFICE OF THE CONTROLLER
Tuesday 30th June 2020
A COVID-19 Person of Interest (POI) and a female are facing the Waigani Committal Court after their arrest by police for breaching quarantine orders.
Japeth Warus, 27 year old male of mix Morobe and Gulf province and Samantha Karang, 28 year old female of mix Manus and Motuan village of Hanuabada, both employees of Bank South Pacific, were arrested and charged for failing to comply with an Emergency Order issued by the Controller during the State of Emergency. They were remanded in custody but are now out on a K250 bail each.
Police Commissioner and Controller David Manning said Warus was placed in quarantine at the Holiday Inn Hotel after arriving from Brisbane, Australia, on the 26th of May 2020 and during his stay was visited by Karang four days later.
Mr Manning said security guards questioned why she was in a quarantined area and both persons were later questioned and charged for breaching SOE orders. Police are continuing their investigations.
Mr Manning said the COVID 19 pandemic is a serious matter and police will not hesitate to arrest people who knowingly breach strict quarantine restrictions.
“While citizens are seen not strictly complying to health and medical protocols in the public domain, when persons of interest are instructed to follow quarantine orders they must be followed and the persons of interest must not invite others to join them,” Mr Manning said.
He said the country has seen an increase of positive COVID-19 cases to 11 and vigorous testing by health officials to a wider population may see further increase and therefore the need for people to remain vigilant and follow the health protocols of physical distancing, avoid crowds, coughing into the elbow and washing hands regularly.
David Manning, MBE, DPS, QPM
Commissioner of Police & Controller