Handwashing and good hygiene still key in fighting serious threat of a mass outbreak

WaterAid Australia

WaterAid Australia

COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea

Handwashing and good hygiene still key in fighting the serious threat of a mass outbreak

Scott Morrison has this morning announced Australian Government support in response to the worsening COVID-19 situation in Papua New Guinea (PNG). WaterAid applauds the Australian Government’s commitment and continued support to our close friend and neighbour.

Given PNG’s fragile health systems and with large-scale distribution of vaccines some time away, safe and reliable water supply and handwashing with soap is still the first line of defence against the spread of COVID-19.

With support from the Australian Government, WaterAid scaled up our water, sanitation and hygiene work in PNG, focusing on COVID-19 preventative measures, provision of water supply in communities and schools and national hygiene promotion, including handwashing with soap.

WaterAid Papua New Guinea’s Director of Programs Navara Kiene said:

“The Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak here in Papua New Guinea is a welcome one, however the situation continues to be very real and very serious, with a large-scale outbreak looming. Our team and partners are continuing our work in a COVID safe way to ensure we can reach people with hygiene and handwashing education and facilities, as they are the first line of defence against the spread of infectious disease and will remain so before, during and after the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.”

Rosie Wheen, Chief Executive, WaterAid Australia, said:

“The worsening COVID-19 outbreak in Papua New Guinea is extremely worrying. This year we have seen handwashing thrown into the spotlight as one of the key ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19. However, billions of people worldwide can’t do this, as they simply do not have access to soap or water. That’s why we will continue our vital work in Papua New Guinea and globally in scaling up our handwashing and hygiene projects to help slow the spread and protect people from COVID-19.”

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