Covid-19 is real, take it seriously


THE best defence to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the coronavirus is to strictly follow all Covid-19 health protocols.
The Covid-19 is real.
It knows no boundary and does not discriminate.
The Government last year imposed a lockdown, followed by a state of emergency, in its effort to have an isolation strategy so authorities could pinpoint if the virus was present after the first breach of security.
The Government, last March 24, declared a 14-day partial lockdown after the first coronavirus case was confirmed on March 20.
The purpose of the lockdown was to allow the Government to assess and put in place mechanisms to control and prevent any further spreading of the virus.
The announcement then caused confusion, anxiety and fear among the public with many describing the directive as harsh despite the restrictions being more relaxed compared to the lockdown but it had to be done.
The fight to contain the Covid-19 pandemic is global.
All nations are working together on this.
It was for everyone’s benefit that these measures were put in place – from social distancing to getting into crowded areas and the simplest reminder of personal hygiene.
The message of practicing hand hygiene (wash your hands regularly with soap and water), respiratory hygiene (cover your cough) and social distancing as a prevention measure was the new rule.
At one time, police were pulling PMV buses off the road in Port Moresby for breaching public health safety rules relating to the Covid-19.
In order for the buses to operate, owners and operators were required to implement the “Niupela Pasin” which included ensuring there was a 1.5m physical or safe distancing; all passengers and operators were to wear masks, buses to have sanitisers and bus fare was to increase to K1.50 to make up for their losses of ferrying only 15 passengers.
We still have ignorant people not complying with the various orders and putting everyone at risk with their no-care behaviour.
A big problem with this pandemic is that health measures put in place were never effectively policed.
Our trading partners were and still are hard hit and the effect is felt in the country.
Stiff border protection measures are still being implemented in all countries.
Let’s be honest, a lot of our people don’t have much education and are gullible to whatever information is spread and that is how panic starts.
Two glaring areas of concern that popped up during the state of emergency was the need to disseminate accurate information in order to maintain order and for people to remain calm.
How we communicate about the Covid-19 is critical in supporting people to take effective action to help combat the disease and to avoid fuelling fear and stigma.
Another was the failing health facilities and system.
PNG does not have the capacity to deal with this virus if there is an outbreak.
PNG has less than 500 doctors and less than 3,000 nurses for a population well above 8 million.
We, have, in place, the “Niupela Pasin” document which is the new way of living that makes basic hygiene and safe distancing a part of our new culture – as individuals, as families and as communities.
It means adopting behaviours and actions that are consistently practiced to reduce risk of the Covid-19 and other infectious disease.
It involves a society where people take responsibility for their own health and their families.