Goroka Show cancelled due to surge in Covid-19 cases

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A SURGE in the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Eastern Highlands has resulted in four deaths and increasing number of admissions at the Goroka Hospital which has forced the cancellation of the popular annual Goroka Show, an official says.
In a statement yesterday, the Eastern Highlands administrator John Gimiseve, who is also the province’s pandemic response controller, said 16 people died and more than 50 people were admitted to the hospital from Covid-19 between March and April.
He said the situation subsided from June to last month.
“However, in the first two weeks of September (3-12) alone, 24 new cases and four deaths were recorded in the hospital,” Gimiseve said.
“That is very alarming and serious for our province.
“We understand and acknowledged that a lot of time, preparation, commitment by individuals, groups, communities and business houses have been made towards the iconic event.
“However, it is with regret that the show will not proceed as scheduled given our current Covid-19 situation in the province.
“As we speak, our hospital does not have the capacity to manage over 20 critically-ill Covid-19 cases.
“The hospital’s capacity to effectively deal with such is stretched to the maximum. The Covid-19 and its recent (Delta) variant are also unpredictable.
“To further complicate the situation, our population in general are not adhering to the new normal measures.
“Even the vaccine uptake among our frontline population in the province at 33 per cent is risky.
“The huge number of unvaccinated population accessing the show places a greater risk and will culminate in enormous calamity after the show.
“In light of all the above, I have no choice but to immediately stop the Goroka Show.”
“I cannot and I will not take the risk of compromising the people’s health.”
Gimiseve said this also meant that all other public events that attracted a congregation of people should also be put off until further notice.

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