"We appeal to the Papuan people to restrict travel to PNG due to the country's relatively high infection rate of the novel coronavirus disease," Sadikin said in Jayapura on Wednesday.
The covid-19 strain in PNG is not expected to be vicious, but the government needs to remain vigilant because many Papuans live near the Indonesia-PNG land border area, the minister explained.
If the coronavirus strain infecting PNG residents is categorized as a vicious one, it would be more harmful to communities in the Indonesian province of Papua, he observed.
"As part of the government's preventive measures, we urge the Papua provincial government to cautiously monitor the movement of people in the border areas," he added.
Indonesia remains in grip of the global coronavirus pandemic that has severely affected its economy, and the government has rolled out a nationwide vaccination program to contain infections.