From a PNG Christian community health worker and leader
Papua New Guinea had a total lockdown in March when COVID19 spread through Asia and the South Pacific. Business houses closed as well as schools and movement of people and religious/social gatherings. Many people lost jobs and the rate of crime and violence especially against women and minors increased.
The Health care system that was ignored by successive governments struggled to deal with the pandemic with its existing problems. With not enough budget allocated for protective gear and also to combat the spread in our only referral hospital in the capital Port Moresby, many patients suffered because they could not get proper medical checks for life saving operation and treatment.
The stigma involved with the virus is high as a result many Papua New Guineas have not freely volunteered to be tested at the government run testing sites. Today a lot of people are learning to live with the virus and have gathered during our country’s 45 anniversary this month to celebrate.
The country’s leader has promised a stimulus package for the struggling economy but people in provinces and rural areas have not seen the support.
Tourism is huge income generator for many and the lockdown has greatly impacted the industry.
Praise God that the Church is learning to care for others, continue sharing the gospel and pray together.