WHO Country office OIC, Dr Anup Murung told journalists during a Media Training on Monday. He said with low vaccination rate in the country is also a concern.
He said PNG has the lowest rate in the Southwest Pacific region and people need more information from reliable and trusted sources, so they make informed decision about vaccination and adhere to Niupela Pasin protocol.
Dr. Anup asked the media to reach the people with right information about vaccines, through;
- The various health networks in the country.
- Access different networks at work, in the family, and community;
- Help increase vaccine confidence and trust by spreading the truth based on credible sources (WHO, CDC, Gavi, NCC, NDoH);
- Help start the conversation, share factual information to dispel rumours, and be a vaccine champion.
He referred to the COVID-19 statistics from last month dated April 10, where it showed 43,526 as Cumulative cases in PNG, with 138 new cases and 643 deaths. There were 519 Cumulative Omicron cases and 756 were cumulative Delta Variant.
Dr Anup explained that older people and those with underlying medical conditions are more likely to develop serious illness, but anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.
He said, “The more people gather in a crowd and the longer people interact with each other, the greater the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Therefore, the risks of COVID-19 transmission during this election is very high.”
Dr Anup said prevention through vaccination is critical and help prevent severe illness and save lives, especially for those loved ones with underlying medical conditions and the elderly.
He added that low uptake of vaccination by individuals means families, communities and the country remains at risk of COVID-19 severe illness and death.
Status of Vaccination, at least first dose
- Total vaccinated so far, 329,084
- Health care workers- 15,396
- Persons with co-morbidities:7,144
- Persons aged +45yrs: 99,324
- Fully vaccinated: 269,644.
Dr Anup cautioned that frontline and Health Care workers are at high risk, due to the level of exposure, so as media personnel and urged to observe preventive measures.