Tuesday 2 November, 2021
Governor General, Grand Chief Sir Bob Bofeng Dadae, today invited a prominent Papua New Guinean medical doctor to speak to his staff about COVID19, in particular, the new Delta variant.
Dr Mathias Sapuri, a United Nations in-country Physician and Senior Consultant of Obstetrics & Gynaecology addressed staff of Government House this morning about the new delta variant and the importance of getting vaccinated.
Dr. Sapuri also dispelled a lot of rumours on social media regarding vaccination which has prevented a lot of people from getting vaccinated including staff of Government House.
Dr. Sapuri urged the Government House staff to seek information regarding Covid19 from reliable sources, from medical experts and doctors and not from social media such as Facebook, stating that a lot of people posting negative comments about Covid19 and vaccination lack proper knowledge of the virus and should not be referred to as qualified sources of information.
“As a medical scientist, I rely on information published by other doctors in the medical journals and other such publications. I do not base my advice on social media such as Facebook.
“I urge you all to do the same. Seek factual information from reliable sources to make informed choices regarding Covid19 and vaccination,” Dr. Sapuri said.
Dr. Sapuri explained that vaccination boosts a person’s immunity and prevents the likelihood of a person getting seriously ill from Covid19 and death.
He noted that as of today, PNG has recorded 375 deaths, of that only about 25 of the deceased were vaccinated.
He clarified that those that died despite being vaccinated had previous underlying health conditions.
“Vaccination becomes effective after two months and not immediately once you’ve taken it.
“That is why, even those who have been vaccinated may die a few days or weeks after being jabbed but that is due to underlying health issues such as TB, diabetes, lung disease, HIV/AIDS or other life threatening conditions. Covid comes along and worsens these conditions resulting in death,” Dr. Sapuri said.
Dr. Sapuri noted that following news of the arrival of the third wave of Covid19, the delta variant, many people rushed to get vaccinated without first addressing health issues they have resulting in the deaths reported.
“If you have an underlying health issue or a history of serious illness, speak with your doctor first. They will help you reach a level that may be conducive for you to get vaccinated,” Dr. Sapuri said.
Dr. Sapuri stated that he was aware of the GG’s Office adopting the ‘no jab no job’ policy for its staff which many business houses and companies have also adopted to safeguard their employees and clients from Covid19.
He noted that such a policy was vital for frontline health workers who come into contact with people as part of their job.
According to acting Official Secretary, Mr. Bill Toraso, the Governor General’s Office adopted the ‘no jab, no work, no pay policy’ to encourage staff to get vaccinated and also due to the roles and functions of Government House which hosts ceremonial and State events on a regular basis.
This morning however, the Governor General requested to meet with staff who have not been vaccinated to address this issue and reach an understanding on the matter. According to Grand Chief Sir Bob, consideration must be given to staff who have a genuine reason for not getting vaccinated such as a health condition.