Court temporarily halts SIM card de-activation

PORT MORESBY – The deactivation of unregistered SIM cards in Papua New Guinea has been put on hold following concerns about it threatening lives of people in the Madang Province.

The 11th hour reprieve though is for 14 days. It was granted as an interim injunction by the National Court in Port Moresby Monday after Madang Open MP Bryan Kramer filed before Justice Oagile Bethuel Key Dingake.

The application filed on Sunday raised concerns that the deactivation would put the health and lives of the people, particularly mothers and children in the rural areas of the Madang electorate at risk.

Kramer told the court that according to paediatrician Dr Jimmy Aipit of Madang General Hospital, 600 health workers based in the rural areas of Madang used mobile phones to contact Dr Aipit for life-saving advice, including during emergency situations like during child birth.

β€œHe (Dr Aipit) is concerned about the effect of the decision by NICTA (National Information and Communications Technology Authority) to deactivate the SIM – subscriber identity module – throughout the province; he will no longer be able to contact the health workers,” Kramer told the court.

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