Ruby Princess, with love from Wollongong
Radio Days: Blood on the streets

Simbu group proposes coronavirus concept


KUNDIAWA - Covid-19 is a new disease that caught the whole world off-guard like a tsunami rendering all known medical science irrelevant and ineffective.

Even the best organised nations have struggled to effectively contain the virus.

It was in December at Wuhan Central Hospital, China, that Dr Li Wenling, an ophthalmologist and physician, first observed signs of the virus and warned colleagues about a possible outbreak of an illness like SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) that had broken out in 2003.

Instead of responding immediately, the Chinese authorities reprimanded Dr Li and suppressed the information. But the warning began to circulate on the internet as more people died, including health workers.

The authorities couldn't hide the deadly invasion of the virus that was named covid-19.

But sadly, Dr Li, the-whistleblower, himself got infected with the virus and died.

As the news about covid-19 spread around the world, few countries paid significant attention. The virus didn’t mind. It spread rapidly killing people by the thousands.

Yesterday there had been nearly three million cases recorded and over 200,000 deaths. And these figures are considered to be gross under-estimates.

Gradually countries awoke from their complacency and began to action, including Papua New Guinea.

Although scientists identified covid-19 as a strand of the known corona group of viruses, it is a new strain unbeknownst to medical science and there is no known vaccine to prevent it or medicine that can treat and cure it.

The world is now scrambling to develop a vaccine and find effective treatments. While the scrambling goes on, the virus keeps spreading leaving thousands of dead in its wake.

Most recently South America and Africa are falling before its fast-growing spread.

The Marape-Steven government in PNG - which suffers under extremely poor health and economic conditions - has done what it thinks is best while learning to limit the transmission of this killer virus.

So far PNG has registered only 8 confirmed cases of covid-19 with no deaths. But that does not mean we should be complacent.

Singapore’s infection rate was amongst the lowest in the world a month back. Now infections have skyrocketed with high rates of death.

In PNG, instead of grumbling and throwing mud at the prime minister and his team, it’s time to offer positive ideas as to how best we can prevent mass infection as we transit from lockdown to partial normalcy.

In Simbu a group of renowned volunteers, of which I am a member, has come up with a simple and cost saving transmission risk minimisation concept that we believe can become very beneficial in the event of a partial restoration of normalcy.

The concept, which I cannot discuss in detail here, is now with the chairman of the Simbu Provincial Covid-19 Response Committee and state of emergency controller Michael Bal Temai. He has taken ownership of the idea as a pilot project for Simbu Province.

I understand the proposal has reached the Prime Minister's Department. Although it has the ability to expand to other provinces, we believe it must first be adopted in Simbu where the idea was born.


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Lindsay F Bond

With photo to boot, Francis presents formidably what is so far discovered.

With virus pathogens too microscopically small, ‘what’ is very evasive.

So the ‘what’ in most discussions is of how to respond to the ‘invasive’.

At an obscured moment, non-certained location, a virus became capable of infecting humans.

At an obstructed revelation, an unfortunate observer (now deceased) alerted his fellows.

So the ‘whither’ remains for verification, while of humans infected, too many wither and die.

Will humanity going forward in time, accommodate this virus or accomplish its prevention?

Will measures of initiative and invention as in Simbu (and PNG) succeed in minimisation?

This so depends on volition of a great many people, and from leaders, clear directives in truth.

That said, Francis has a “strain unbeknownst”, bemusing my progression, that got my attention.

Report recalls the 1897 discovery of malaria parasite’s use of Anopheles mosquitoes as carrier.

Researcher Ronald Ross, his work published, lauded, later wrote “…Oh, death, where is thy sting…”

If malaria and the ‘common cold’ continue as afflictions, will our ways and wiles win over coronavirus?


Philip Fitzpatrick

Looks like the 'H' fell off the information booth.

PNG seems to be using the euphemism 'persons of interest' in place of confirmed cases of coronavirus. Presumably this is because widespread testing is not available. There are 10,221 'persons of interest'. That's a lot of suspects.

Also reports that the allocation of K23m to fight the virus has been subject to corruption and is being investigated. If that's true it has to be a pretty low act even for PNG.

Kenny Pawa Ambaisi

Great initiative. We must work together to fight this monster.

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