A health expert has warned of an increase in Covid-19 cases if people do not follow control measures during the July election in Papua New Guinea.

According to Anup Gurung of the World Health Organization’s PNG office, a new wave would put vulnerable people at risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

According to Dr. Gurung, the Delta surge last year increased mortality in vulnerable groups.

He claims that because of the country’s low testing rates, fewer cases of the latest variant Omicron were reported, despite high community transmission from January to February.

Dr. Gurung anticipates that all provinces will have the Omicron variant by June, and he advises young people to be respectful of older people and cautious in election gatherings.

According to him, a person infected with Covid-19 could infect at least three to five people.

He advised that if crowds were unavoidable, people should wear masks, sanitize their hands, and get vaccinated.

PNG had the lowest Covid-19 vaccine coverage in the western Pacific region, with only 30% of health workers vaccinated.

Nominations for the general election in Papua New Guinea opened Thursday morning, after a week’s delay due to the death of Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil.

The nomination period ends on Thursday, May 26.

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