Covid-19, are we ready?

Letters

A CATASTROPHE of apocalyptic bearing is sweeping through the world in this time and era consuming lives relentlessly, savagely rising above all efforts of placation, dragging with it social despair and economic loss in its endless trail of daily deaths.
Yes, it is real and primly fatal, with slim guarantees of dodging our shores.
The now renowned Covid-19 has taken on the world in leaping bounds, having no rebates to ethnicity or world standing as plainly manifested.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has thus far proclaimed it “a pandemic in our times that will stretch our resilience”.
With nations of the world in their own standing taking drastic measures to safe guard their shores.
How then, are we in PNG taking on our stance on this deadly phenomenon that has disastrous bearings?
Developed countries have taken pro-active approaches to the extent of complete travel bans and shut-downs of communal sites.
Their health experts have expressed fear of experiencing health system collapses despite their advanced level of health care.
Schools have proactively closed and streets are empty as people take heed to prevention.
Addressing an issue of such mortal significance requires a sincere and realistic approach.
PNG is a struggling nation with poor reflections on natural disaster responses and deplorable health service delivery indicators.
Inquests on corruption are a common and on-going norm, financial loans riddle our accounts.
And our poor socio-economic status is not overly comforting.
How then can we be complacent in this bewitching hour and state with ease that we are ready?
I believe the reality of our situation demands a concerted effort in addressing this calamity.
Complete bans on international travels and strict border restrictions should be imposed.
Health authorities should now be sufficiently staffed and equipped in preparedness for the imminent.
Greater public awareness campaigns should be done along with prompt establishment of care centres nationwide.
Learning institutions and sporting bodies should start reviewing contingencies.
A task force of relevant government and statutory bodies should be convened without delay to set up emergency plans and actions as per anticipated drawbacks from the pandemic.
Issues of health, education, law and order, food security and socio-economic sustainability are of paramount concern.
Individuals should now perform strict personal hygiene practices and refrain from filthy habits, avoid unnecessary social contacts and gatherings, and start planning and preparing for a possible shutdown of basic services and an inflated cost of living.
Our predominantly reactive culture should now be switched to proactivity. For there can never truly be a rebound on this once the clock starts ticking.

Great White,
West Goroka

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