Marape encourages citizens to comply with new normal

4th June 2020

Papua New Guinea has no capacity to deal with a Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak if citizens and residents are not vigilant or conscious at all times

Prime Minister , James Marape, MP, highlighted this  at  his press briefing  on  May 29, 2020,  adding that currently , Papua New Guinea has under 500 doctors and under 3,000 nurses, and if COVID-19 is not contained  and rose,  then there’s a chance of it growing  and spreading in  the country.

“Our health system    does not have the adequate capacity to manage an increased presence of COVID-19 in our  country .

“For instance, those  who will migrate from just being infected with COVID-19  into   doctor care , the 20% or so who will migrate  into doctor care in an intensive care unit (ICU),  requires many beds.”

When highlighting the bed capacity in the intensive care unit, Mr Marape admitted, there are only    200 bed spaces  available,  and   of the 200 beds, only 44  of them have oxygen ventilators attached to the beds.

“If we have a situation where, based on an increase rate of 1 infection to  3 or 2.5 persons , for instance,  and the number grows exponentially, our health system doesn’t have the capacity to deal with an outbreak of a pandemic nature.”

Mr Marape  noted the 67 days since the emergency operations  began,  and  emphasised       that  “ complacency is not a choice for us here  in our operations and our efforts to  fight and keep COVID-19  out of our country.

“As  far  as our poor  health capacity is concerned,  the best we can do to be defensive, is  that  our defensive strategy must  be applied and maintained, now as we have been in the past and  going into the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, the initial operations commenced well    before  the state of emergency was formally  sanctioned in March 2020.

“Earlier  on in January , we shut down travelers coming  back from China, when we knew in December, there was an outbreak taking place at the province in China, Wuhan.

“So we ‘ve taken our own  steps to stopping  COVID-19 right  from day one   but as I always say, our success  thus far, I cannot receive credit for it, everyone of our citizen and resident  have played a part . And all the credit belongs to God . Having said this, we must all, continue work,  without being complacent.

“No complacency at  work place,  including social distancing , workplace distancing , no complacency  in areas where travelling is taking place, people moving place to place try absolutely best to keep distance.”

Mr Marape continues to urge citizens to ,”  wash your hands , find a mask,  live healthily in a  clean environment , if you have symptoms of cold and cough , hotline will remain as it has been. Ring the number 1800200, stay put in your place  of residence and doctors will try to come to you, wherever they are.

“ And this is the  sort of approach  and way we  will live  for the balance of this year and into the future,” Mr Marape concluded.

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