Niupela pasin: Covid-19 in PNG

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), ‘niupela pasin’ means a new way of living that makes basic hygiene and safe distancing a part of our new culture as individuals, families and communities. It means adopting behaviours and actions that are consistently practiced to reduce risk of the Covid-19 and other infectious diseases

The World Health Organisation country office, Department of Health and Unicef recently released a question and answer infographics on the Covid-19 and vaccines in Papua New Guinea.

Question: How do I recognise the Covid-19?
Answer: Common symptoms of the Covid-19 include cough, fever, headache, difficulty breathing, sore throat, loss of taste or smell and muscle aches.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, go to your nearest health facility for testing, or call the toll-free Covid-19 hotline on 1-800-200.

Why get tested for the Covid-19?
Knowing your status helps you get the care you need and stops you from spreading the virus to your loved ones, vulnerable people in your community and people at high risk of infection.
The Covid-19 may lead to severe pneumonia, organ failure and death.

Why are the Covid-19 cases lower in PNG compared to other countries?
Largely due to our low testing rates, we have to assume that there are far more cases in PNG than are being found through testing.
That is why it is important for everyone with symptoms to be tested so that we can prevent the spread of the Covid-19 to others.
More testing means more known cases to help us respond effectively.

Who is at risk of the Covid-19?
Frontline and healthcare workers have a higher risk of infection.
Older people and individuals with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, high-blood pressure, tuberculosis, obesity and diabetes are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill and dying if infected with the Covid-19.

Why do we need a vaccine?
Combined with other protective measures, the Covid-19 vaccines will be an important tool to protect people against the disease and save lives.
But vaccines alone will not end the pandemic.
We must continue to practice protective behaviours such as mask wearing, physical distancing, frequent hand washing and limit time spent in crowded or enclosed places.
Vaccines + Niupela pasin = increased protection.

Are Covid-19 vaccines safe?
Yes. Covid-19 vaccines go through robust clinical trials and are only approved for use after their safety and efficacy has been rigorously tested and the benefits are shown to outweigh the risks.