Dr Daoni said COVID-19 is now affecting all provinces, but it is still mostly seen in urban areas and those villages and communities accessible to these places.
He said everyone has the responsibility to ensure it is not spread to the rural areas where the majority of the health facilities are not equipped to care for people sick with COVID-19.
“We now have evidence that vaccination does reduce one’s chance of contracting the virus, and if by a small chance that you do get it, the symptoms are more like the common cold and are not deadly.
“Therefore I urge you to get vaccinated. If you care for your loved ones, you will do this for their benefit as well as your own. People who are fully vaccinated also have a reduced chance of spreading COVID-19 to their loved ones and friends.
“I cannot say it any other way. The facts are there. Vaccines save lives so I am encouraging all holidaymakers to ensure they get vaccinated,’’ Dr Daoni said.
He said it takes two weeks for the body to build an immune system after a person has received the second dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after getting a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine so those planning to go home for holidays must go and get vaccinated now and not wait until they are a few days from travelling.
The Deputy Controller has also urged people to take care during the holiday season and said that the two years of experience in the pandemic has shown that the virus transmits faster during big gatherings.
“We had a spike in cases in March and April 2020, February to May 2021 and then another one in September to November 2021 following the celebration of Independence. We now have evidence that big gatherings do contribute to the spread of COVID-19 so take care during the festive season.”
He also highlighted the need for people to ensure they are wearing masks when they are in an aircrafts, Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs), or other public transports this Christmas.
“The congested PMVs are the norm in many parts of the country especially during the holiday season so I am urging everyone to be responsible and ensure they are following the Niupela Pasin.”
He encouraged people to follow social distancing rules and continue hand washing and sanitization.
“Let’s all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our country. Health workers cannot do it alone. Many of them have contracted the virus while attending to patients and have died,” Dr Daoni concluded.