Act now, act smart to overcome Covid


PEOPLE take Panadol and other medication prescribed by doctors, they vaccinate their children against numerous diseases and will no doubt line up if and when a malaria vaccination becomes available, yet they hesitate to be vaccinated against the Coronavirus (Covid-19) which has already caused the death of more than
5 million people around the world.
Social media and some irresponsible media releases being posted and published have resulted in much of the confusion resulting in Papua New Guinea being the lowest vaccinated country in the world which will directly affect the social and economic future of most Papua New Guineans.
PNG has never enjoyed the benefits of a vibrant tourism industry despite the enormous potential the country has to offer.
Since before independence, tourism has been played down, yet when speaking with people in rural areas, tourism remains the most talked about industry they want and now there is little or no future unless the unvaccinated recognise the far-reaching detrimental effect their reluctance to be vaccinated brings.
In reality, it has become a disease of the unvaccinated that will prevent PNG realising our tourist potential.
While I speak about tourism, we are also talking about our international image.
This virus has effected all of us and will continue to infect many more until such times our entire health system collapses.
No visitor coming by sea or air will be in a hurry to return until the anti-vax opposition understand that they need to be protected and, more importantly, those they come in contact with need to be protected as well.
Do we have to wait until such a time as we experience the same fate as other countries and having mass burials before people get vaccinated?

Peter Barter
Former Health Minister