Be wary, follow SOE directives

Editorial

SINCE the coronavirus outbreak last December, countries have worked hard to put a stop to the spread of the virus.
Many succeeded through breaking the cycle by human intervention.
Today, the number of confirmed cases stands at 62.
The prime minister last week announced it was now clear that there is community transmission in Port Moresby.
This is obvious through the number of contact tracing of the recent confirmed cases.
Community transmission is when there is no clear source of origin of the infection in a new community.
It happens when you can no longer identify who became infected after being exposed to someone who interacted with people from the originally infected communities. PNG does not have the capacity to deal with this virus if there is an outbreak, hence, orders were issued so strategies could be drawn on how to protect the people.
PNG’s population at about 8 million people and the number of doctors in PNG is just below 600.
That is about one doctor to serve around 12,000 people.
Then, we have the nurses ratio 5:10,000 people.
Realistically, there is not enough health workers for our population.
You do have to be a rocket scientist to see what happen if the Covid-19 strikes in PNG.
Orders relating to the pandemic were imposed with the main message calling on all citizens to wash their hands frequently, maintain social distancing, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and practice respiratory hygiene.
Whether that message reaches a million citizens and if they understand it is another thing.
The one concerned area for many since the first lockdown and announcement of restrictions is the conduct of social events in the country.
People were still not following simple rules such as social distancing imposed during the SOE for the sake of their health and safety.
People continued to leave their homes unnecessarily and congregating in large groups despite being told to restrict ones movement.
Seems directives used during the two months SOE that were relaxed were taken for granted.
For rapidly growing urban centres where crowds of people are interacting daily, the need for personal hygiene and regard for other people’s health are often disregarded.
Social distancing and wearing of mask reduces transmission of the virus effectively and lessens the impact on already stretched healthcare services.
Yes, this will have some negative impacts of mental health, loneliness and to some loss of income, but it should be done.
It is for everyone’s benefit that these measures put in place.
As much as many people feel irritated and annoyed with the restrictions, many failed to understand or chose to ignore that the Covid-19 respects no national boarders, no social bounds, no political systems and no cultural values.
The whole world is affected is affected by this pandemic and PNG is no exception.
The fight to contain the Covid-19 pandemic is global. All nations are working together on this.
Ending the disease will require a sustained effort from individuals, communities and Governments to continue suppressing and controlling the deadly new coronavirus.
Countries should now ensure they can detect, test, isolate and care for every case, and trace every contact.
Do not be complacent or be too relaxed – take responsibility for your family, community and country.

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