Negativity and ignorance can ruin lives, the Prime Minister (PM) Bob Loughman said when expressing concern on public reactions to COVID-19 protocols and advices in a press conference yesterday afternoon.
Having reached the stage of maturity with 40 years, we (Vanuatu) should be mature when it comes to negativity and ignorance, he stressed.
“I want to appeal to citizens and residents to respect advices not to enter quarantine areas and avoid using Facebook in a manner that can undermine the country’s ability,” he said.
“Everyone should be respecting efforts to protect our country from the spread of coronavirus.”
The PM said he is aware that a lot of posts and comments on social media have created confusion and fear among the general public following the confirmation of the country’s first confirmed coronavirus case.
“As the head of the government, I am concerned. I wish to say again that anyone disclosing information without the health authority’s approval will be dealt with the law.
“The latest information and plans about COVID-19 should be obtained from the appropriate website: www.covid19.gov.vu.”
Regarding the temporary travel restrictions imposed on Efate, PM Loughman urged everyone to respect and comply with them.
The restrictions will assist officials to complete contact tracing, he said.
The PM confirmed in his statement yesterday that the first round of test results for the 152 passengers that travel with the infected person from Auckland to Port Vila were negative.
“This is good news for us however, following testing protocols, follow-up tests will be conducted before they can be release back to their families.”
He commended frontline officers for continuing to protect the country.
“Citizens should be acknowledging your sacrifices instead of giving negative comments. Development partners are commended for ongoing assistance, the churches and everyone else for prayers and support.”