Take Covid-19 seriously

Editorial

CORONAVIRUS (Covid-19) is real, it is not a joke and it knows no boundaries.
There is a surge, especially the Delta variant which is highly contagious that appears to be more infectious, causing more varied and severe symptoms among patients and spreading more easily among children.
The National Control Centre (NCC) has announced measures with the aim of containing the spread, but unfortunately, there is total defiance with compliance.
Prime Minister James Marape, on his return from the United States on Sunday, observed that while the world has taken to living with Covid-19, Papua New Guinea still has a lot to learn in doing the same.
He said Covid-19 dominated discussions in all United Nations (UN) meetings, from the smaller virtual meetings to 76th UN General Assembly. This pandemic is a very real security threat to all nations of the world.
Marape, in his address to the UN, had indicated that Covid-19 remained a big challenge in PNG, especially as the rate of vaccination remained low.
He wanted global efforts to curb misinformation that was resulting in low rates of vaccinations in the country.
We agree with the prime minister that if you don’t want to be vaccinated, then it is best for you to participate in self-isolation and remain where you are with mask and social distancing.
With the low uptake in the vaccine, the best defence to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19 is to strictly follow all protocols and measures announced.
The message of handwashing or sanitising, respiratory hygiene (cover your cough) and social distancing as a prevention measure is what we must practise.
Statistics of last Monday show that PNG recorded 19,704 cases, of which 18,381 have recovered.
The total number of deaths stand at 227.
PNG has so recorded 97 cases of the Delta variant that tripled from 30 on Sept 1.
West Sepik, Madang, Hela, Morobe, Western, National Capital District, Central and Milne Bay are reported to have recorded the Delta variant.
The number may have increased as we await the NCC to release them.
The rise in the number of Covid-19 Delta variant cases in the border provinces of West Sepik and Western indicates a total defiance all Covid-19 protocols.
Sporting competitions have stopped in compliance and religious activities, especially Sunday masses, are likely be scaled down.
Regrettably, those tasked to enforce the measures are not seen to be doing it with gathering of more than 20 people still happening, face mask is not being worn in public and there is no social distancing, especially in public transport.
See what’s happening in Fiji. Fiji police arrested 240 people for not wearing a face covering mask in public.
A total of 256 bookings were made over the weekend for breach of the public health act.
The on-the-spot fines range from nearly US$10 (about K30) for individuals and up to US$2,000 (about K7,020) for companies depending on the severity of the offences.
The spread can be slowed, public health professionals say, if people practice “social distancing” by avoiding public spaces and generally limiting their movement.
Studies show people are mainly catching Covid-19 through larger respiratory droplets when they are close to an infected person or when these droplets fall on a surface that they then touch, rather than the virus hanging out in the air.
Covid-19 will not move unless people move it.
When we stop moving, the virus stops moving.
We need to slow down the spread so that not many people will go to the hospital at the same time.

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