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Chinese Miner denies Testing COVID-19 Vaccines in PNG

 Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited, the Chinese mining company in the centre of last week’s Covid-19 vaccine testing reports by PNG and Australian media, has denied the reports.

“Ramu Nico Management (MCC) did not test Covid-19 vaccine in Papua New Guinea as claimed or alleged by certain overseas media with ulterior motives, and assures that the company will not involve in any unethical behaviour and will continue to uphold prudent investments and industrial practices in PNG,” the company said in a media statement released last weekend.

It said 48 Chinese employees of MCC had voluntarily participated in SARS-COV-2 vaccination that was legally available in China before departing for PNG, which in the company’s view, could not only immunise these employees from Covid-19, but also contribute towards PNG’s fight against the pandemic.

“It is with this good intention that the company prepared the vaccination statement for the employees to present to the PNG officials in case they need to be tested again upon arrival in PNG,” MCC said.

“But that particular statement made in good intention was quickly passed on to The Australian by some ill-intentioned person and The Australian wasted no time to publish a highly speculative article on August 20 with the title “China testing its Covid-19 vaccine in Papua New Guinea.”

The news had since then gone viral both in Australia and PNG.

“In response to concerns of the public and various media outlets, Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited would like to truthfully state the following:

– The 48 employees referred to are Chinese citizens who travelled to Port Moresby on August 13, 2020. Before leaving for PNG, they went through medical PCR test as per Measure No.2 on International Travel Measures issued by the Office of the Controller and all were tested negative for Covid-19.

They are currently under quarantine in Port Moresby, in full compliance with PNG’s quarantine regulations.

– The 48 Chinese employees voluntarily received vaccination IN CHINA. They DID NOT receive vaccination in PNG. These mine employees on their return to work would protect both their Chinese and PNG colleagues, help curb the spread of the virus in PNG and help with the recovery of PNG’s economy amidst this global pandemic.

– The director of World Health Organisation (WHO) health emergency program, Michael Ryan, had qualified that there were 165 vaccines currently being tested around the world, 26 of which were in clinical trial stages of which six vaccines were in phase three trials, and three of these six are from China. “China’s vaccine research and development strictly follows science-based and standardised procedures, and there’s strict safety and effectiveness evaluation and ethical review. In accordance with legal provisions and international common practices, emergency use of vaccines may be carried out on voluntary basis after scientific evaluation, verification and legal review so as to safeguard people’s health to the greatest extent”.

– No PNG employees of the company participated in the vaccination in PNG.

The company strongly refutes the highly speculated, false and misleading reports by overseas media with ulterior motives to tarnish the image of Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited, and harm the cordial relationship between the People’s Republic of China and PNG.

“Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited is legally a PNG company.

As a good and genuine corporate citizen of this country, the company has made significant contribution towards the social and economic development of PNG for almost 20 years,” the company said.

“The company will continue to maintain high ethical behaviour and sound corporate governance practices in all workplaces and project impacted communities.”

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