Responding to misinformation on social media, taskforce chairman and NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, said the COVID-19 pandemic is real.
“We must accept that it’s here. The sooner we accept and come to terms the better and faster we can respond and reduce and eliminate infection and transmission,” said Governor Parkop.
We can all help to stop the spread if we undertake the following protocol:
- It is now compulsory to wear a face mask every time and everywhere. This is the LAW. This law is meant to protect you and others especially your family, community, work colleagues, class mates and school friends, your church members and team members in your sporting club. It is the greatest sign of love and respect you can show to yourself and others. Hence, if you do not wear a mask, you cannot get a taxi, you won’t be served by the bank, allowed into shopping malls and restaurants, won’t be allowed into markets and government buildings and police might arrest you or stop you from driving. So remember - No Mask, No Service.
- WASH HANDS - the easiest way to prevent COVID-19 infection and many other infections too. Washing your hands regularly.
- If you have a cold or show symptoms of cold and flu, stay at home. Do not go to work; do not go to school and do not move around. Isolate yourself even from your family so you don’t put them at risk of getting infected. If your condition is severe, and you having very high fever, call emergency number 1800 200 and wait for a visit from our medical team to have you tested. The hotline is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. In the meantime, apply treatment that we normally use to deal with colds, such as steaming and getting common medication like Panadol or paracetamol;
- Keep social or physical distancing at all times. Do not compromise this protocol. When you go out in public to do shopping, go to the bank, visit a restaurant etc, they will have social distancing requirements for queues and maximum numbers. Please observe them or they may be forced to temporarily close if protocols are not being followed. This is important not only for your health but also for services to continue without disruption.
- We have a limited capacity to deal with a massive outbreak. Not enough space in the hospital, not enough doctors, nurses and other medical staff. There is also not enough medical equipment and medicine especially to deal with massive infections. So, everyone must do their part to protect themselves and others. Each and every one of us must take responsibility for our lives so we can help the doctors and medical officers to stop the spread of the virus and eliminate the virus from our city and our country.
- The ban on PMVs and closure of schools is to help stop the virus spreading. Virus doesn’t spread on its own. It is spread by people who are infected; moving it and passing it to others. So by staying at home and isolating yourself, you are also containing and isolating the virus.
- Police are there to help the doctors, nurses, medical officers and St John’s Ambulance to stop the spread of the virus. The defence force and soldiers will also be deployed to assist health officials and police. So, please cooperate with them. They are there to help you to be safe and stay alive. Let’s us all cooperate with all the front-liners doing their duties.
- It is absolutely unacceptable for some people spreading rumours and conspiracy theories about COVID-19. We have seen the devastation worldwide so let’s not wait for it to happen before we believe in it! Please take heed and protect yourselves. Government can only do their part.
- Remember the hotline number is 1800 200 and it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have immediate life threatening situation, you can also call St John’s Ambulance hotline number 111.
- For those who call the hotline and the ambulance come for them, please DO NOT stigmatise them. They will recover! 95 percent of the people will recover. If people stay at home, they are doing the right thing by their country and by their family. We have to support them and be proud of them!
(NCD Governor Powes Parkop with members of the NCD COVID-19 Taskforce during a media conference this week)