PAPUA New Guinea needs at least 70 per cent vaccination coverage to protect its citizens against the deadly Delta variant virus that is rapidly sweeping across countries in the world.
Currently, the deadly variant has spread to at least 98 countries with low vaccination coverage.
It has spread through Europe, parts of Asia, South and Central America and also Africa.
It has made its way to neighbouring countries including Australia, Indonesia and Fiji thus prompting PNG to tighten up all entry points among other measures to protect its citizens.
Deputy controller of the National Pandemic Response, Dr Daoni Esorom said PNG needed to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of its population who were above 18 years old to protect its citizens.
Dr Esorom said 70 per cent immunisation coverage would enable PNG to:
“Infected people become the only source of new Covid-19 variants because they will harbour the virus and spread them among the population,” Dr Esorom warned. “Unvaccinated people have the potential to spread the Delta variants if they become infected and become variant factories in the country.
“Unvaccinated people present greater opportunities for the virus to multiply and spread among the population.
“People who have not been compliant to the Niupla Pasin strategies and measures put in place since the beginning of the outbreak, there is a higher risk that delta variant when it enters PNG, it will mutate and it could throw off a variant mutation that maybe more serious in future.”
Dr Esorom said the Delta variant was 50 to 70 per cent more transmittable than the Alpha variant and was the fastest and the fittest variant that posed a threat to PNG as this particular variant was already present in neighbouring countries.
He said to prevent PNG from the Delta variant, certain steps were being taken and this included:
“So I encourage everyone to adhere to the measures.
“Read the measures properly and follow instructions and as they are the only way that we can protect ourselves.”
The National / PNG Health Watch
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