This Island Nation Had Zero Covid Cases as of June. Now It’s Overwhelmed.

“They’re our household. They’re our associates. They’re our neighbors. They’re our companions,” Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, stated final week. “That is in Australia’s pursuits, and it’s in our area’s pursuits,” he added.

Covax, a global health initiative designed to make entry to inoculations extra equal, started rolling out doses of vaccines to growing nations final month, and it has stated it’s going to ship 588,000 to Papua New Guinea by June.

However in some instances, wealthier nations have did not honor contracts, lowering the variety of doses the initiative can purchase, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the World Well being Group, stated in an announcement final month. He warned that the pandemic wouldn’t finish till everybody was vaccinated.

“This isn’t a matter of charity,” he stated. “It’s a matter of epidemiology.”

Till then, officers in Papua New Guinea will probably be left to fight not solely the virus itself but in addition a tide of misinformation in regards to the pathogen and the vaccines, carried largely by way of social media channels.

“Even for the educated well being employee, it’s inflicting a number of doubt,” stated Dr. Nou, the Port Moresby-based doctor, who has carried out a survey of well being care employees’ views in regards to the pandemic.

Some public well being specialists stated they fearful that the redirection of assets to struggle the coronavirus may come at a deadly price to these with different extreme well being situations, such malaria or tuberculosis. Papua New Guinea has a number of the highest rates of tuberculosis in the world.

“It’s not ok to simply reply to Covid after which have somebody die of one other trigger,” stated Dr. Suman Majumdar, an infectious illnesses specialist on the Burnet Institute, an Australian medical analysis facility. “We have now feared the worst,” he added, “and that is taking place.”

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