PNG Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19: November 2020

Katie Robinson
Lavinia Magiar

Novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in
China’s Hubei Province in late December 2019, and was declared
a global pandemic on 11th March 2020. COVID-19 is having
devastating impacts globally. As of 22 November 2020, there are
approximately 57.8million globally confirmed cases and over 1.3
million deaths have been recorded across 216 countries, territories
or areas. To date, Papua New Guinea has recorded 612 cases,
588 have recovered and 7 deaths.

Upon confirmation of its first COVID-19 case in March, the
Government of PNG declared a state of emergency and
restrictions were put in place, initially for 14 days and then
extended to late June. With an increase of 98 COVID-19 cases
over 17 days, the Government of PNG is implementing a range of
recommendations and measures , which although critical in
slowing the spread of the disease, can themselves impose
significant social and economic costs on PNG.

The impacts – direct and indirect – of the COVID-19 pandemic
fall disproportionally on the most vulnerable and marginalized
groups in society. PNG presents a range of contextual challenges,
including difficult geography. Access to quality health services is
limited, due to a lack of infrastructure, equipment, and qualified
personnel. Services are easily stretched or overwhelmed, and
provision of specialised services and intensive care is limited. In
the current situation, this can pose a problem of access to care if
the number of infected people increases. Coupled with gender
inequality, which remains pervasive across the Pacific, in particular
in the critical domains of leadership and decision making, access
to and control of resources and gender-based violence
, the public health response to COVID-19 can become immeasurably more

Research Type(s)
Report – Peer reviewed
Submitted by Shirleen Ali
April 30, 2021
Published in

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