Practice hygiene during lockdown

Editorial

WHILE the Government has stepped its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), it is important for everyone to get facts from trusted sources.
Prime Minister James Marape has declared a 30 day State of Emergency in the country.
This includes domestic flights halted for 14 days; all travel between provinces banned for 14 days; all education holidays brought forward for next 14 days; and non-essential staff to stay home.
All this follows the confirmation of one person with coronavirus in Papua New Guinea.
The Government’s announcement of the SOE could cause confusion anxiety and fear among the public.
However, the preventive measures announced is not to cause panic but to put in place mechanisms to control and prevent any further spreading of the virus.
The fight to contain the Covid-19 pandemic is global.
All nations are working together on this. If ever there is a time and a need to put aside enmity between our politicians and bureaucrats, it is now.
Unfortunately, a big problem with this pandemic is that health measures curtailing the movements of people and social contact hurt economic activities and businesses.
Remember, it is important that we as a society do not ignore Covid-19, but we also do not want to overhype it.
The world has faced infectious diseases before and we have come through it and we will get through this.
It is best yes to be vigilant and cautious.
We all need to be intentional and thoughtful when communicating on social media and other communication platforms, showing supportive behavioirs around the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The National will continue to emphasise the importance of communicating Covid-19 as important in supporting people to take effective action to help combat the disease and to avoid fuelling fear and stigma.
When talking about coronavirus disease, certain words and language may have a negative meaning for people and fuel stigmatising attitudes.
The Government through the Health Department and the mainstream media have an important role to play in preventing and stopping stigma relating to Covid-19.
Let us promote content around basic infection prevention practices, symptoms of Covid-19 and when to seek health care.
Let’s share facts and accurate information about the coronavirus. The way we communicate can affect the attitude of others.
In an age where information is mass produced and accessible at the touch of a button what the public really should have is relevant knowledge.
This information should be available to everyone for them to make sound and educated decisions. It is for everyone’s benefit that these measures are being put in place – from social distancing to getting into crowded areas and the simplest reminder of personal hygiene.
The message of practicing hand hygiene (washing hands regularly with soap and water), respiratory hygiene (cover your cough), and food safety (cook food well before eating) as a prevention measure for yourself as well as your family members and your community should continue.
We all need to get the basic of personal hygiene right and adhere to the don’ts and dos of the lockdown.
And so in the coming days, let’s all pay attention to what the Government has announced to take effect and to abide by it to stop the virus from entering our respective communities.

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