New Covid-19 issue emerges

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David Manning

THE National Control Centre (NCC) has condemned the “disgraceful” act of people “buying” and carrying around green vaccination cards without being vaccinated, saying they are putting everyone else’s lives in danger.
National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning said people yet to be vaccinated but carrying around the green vaccination cards “are putting everyone else’s life in danger because of their carelessness”.
He said they were “aware of the issue” but were yet to catch anyone carrying the “fake” cards.
“We won’t know how many people have actually bought this cards.
“By then, it may be too late.
“But no one should be lying to their relatives that they have been vaccinated by showing fake cards,” he said.
“To those who are selling the cards when it (should be) free after you receive the vaccine, you are playing with the lives of those who purchase the cards.
“To those who (buy) the card in a black-market deal, (also) know that you are putting yourself in danger of being infected with the Covid-19.
“While we are not forcing anyone to take the vaccine, lying about receiving the vaccine does not help you or your family.”
He called it a “disgraceful” act as the health systems grapples with the surge in the Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases around the country.
“We continue to disregard the simple protocols put in place, and (now) people see fit to create their own shortcuts,” he said.
“Do read the news and know what is happening in the country in terms of the Covid-19 crisis and know what happens when you get the Covid-19.”
Questions sent to Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Jelta Wong and Health secretary Dr Osborne Liko are yet to be answered.
The Department of Health is in charge of the issuing of the vaccination cards to those that have been vaccinated.
It is believed that the green vaccination cards are being sold for between K100 to K300 per card, with up to 200 cards already been sold.
Deputy Controller of the PNG Covid-19 National Pandemic Response Dr Daoni Esorom on Monday said the NCC had warned the Health Department about using a card which could not be duplicated easily.
“We told them (Health Department) when the vaccines were to be brought in that we needed a card with a serial number so that the card is for one person only.
“Once they were vaccinated, that card goes with them.
“At the moment those cards are just cards, no serial number and anybody can reproduce them,” he said.
“We were worried about the black market that can pop up.
“But that is the department’s issue.
“We had highlighted that fact,” he added.