HOW TO AVOID COVID-19 WHEN IT ARRIVES IN PNG
By Dr. James Naipao, 9th March 2020
• 105, 300 coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide. This figure will increase by the day.
• 3,500 deaths globally.
• 416 died outside of China.
• 95 countries have confirmed the coronavirus. More countries will be added to this list because none are immune to this virus.
Developed countries such as Italy and South Korea are struggling to contain this virus.
Our nearest neighbours have confirmed this virus.
This virus whom virologists thought the incubation period is two weeks, but it seems to be unpredictable, and the incubation period now stands at three weeks.
The vulnerable people are the elderly with comorbidities and those that are immunocompromised or with low immunity who will succumb to irreversible lower respiratory infection.
Avoidance to contracting the virus when it arrives in Papua New Guinea is;
• personal hygiene,
• avoid being in a crowd,
• avoid shaking hands,
• avoid sharing cigarettes,
• avoid sharing betel nut,
• avoid sharing mustard,
• avoid attending a church service,
• avoid a sporting gathering,
• avoid a traditional gathering,
• avoid a political rally,
• avoid attending school,
• avoid going to a market and shopping mall.
A vaccine is yet to be developed. A lot is yet to be known about this virus. Current Anti-retroviral drugs are being used to treat this coronavirus.
It neither needs political nor administrative point scoring in the fight against this disease that is reaching the far ends of the globe. The fight to avoid this virus entering this country must be collective.
From now onward, any foreign or PNG stationed vessels (land, sea and air) arriving from overseas may declare themselves safe but highly unpredictable because people who are asymptomatic and coming may carry the virus therefore, absolute precaution, scrutiny, pre-gate and parking check, and isolation, evaluation and quarantine done before passengers pass through the gates.
Land, sea and air vessels should have fumigation certificates before coming to PNG shores too. These are mode of spread as confirmed.
Once the virus arrives in Papua New Guinea, it’s potency to spread will be unpredictable.
There should be no panic but people must be alerted at the soonest.
Global Economy is feeling the pain from this covid-19. And, this recovery will take some time.
WHO says global governments must help. Papua New Guinea must not take it lightly and, GoPNG must aggressively and adequately resourced its responsible departments and agencies to monitor, evaluate, assess, and take preventive and arresting measures to avoid this virus to enter this country, and have advance management procedures in place when this disease is detected.
Dr. James Naipao, National President, National Doctors Association.