Port Vila, 17 November 2020: The Vanuatu Ministry of Health has reiterated the Prime Minister’s official statement yesterday, reemphasising the Government’s gratitude for COVID-19 frontline workers and the need for public support.
In a speech to the public on the evening of the 16 November, Prime Minister Bob Loughman appealed to the public to provide their ongoing support to frontline workers, including health workers, who are working to address COVID-19.
Dr Errollyn Tungu, Acting Medical Superintendent of Vila Central Hospital echoed this sentiment, emphasising that community support is a crucial component in addressing COVID-19. “It is important that the public and our communities understand that those discharged from quarantine and isolation, as well as those involved in their care, do not pose a risk to their families or the wider community on their return home” she said.
She also went on to reiterate the strict protocols in place in both quarantine and isolation facilities. “All staff involved in the care of any COVID-19 case or the processes of quarantine or isolation, have undergone extensive training and are acting under strict COVID-19 protocols and procedures” she said.
During isolation at the hospital, the patient is isolated from others, and provided appropriate medical care. Health care workers involved in the patient’s care are using appropriate personal protective equipment and following strict procedures.
Social stigma is an ongoing challenge in the context of COVID-19 for not only those who may contract the disease, but also their family, friends and those who are involved in their care.
It is important that we all work together to prevent social stigma as discrimination can have a large impact and even create further risks to the public. We can all work together to prevent social stigma by sharing factual information about COVID-19 and plans of the government and providing support and encouragement for those quarantine and isolation, healthcare workers and their families.
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