W.H.O. counters Covid-19 fears with awareness programmes

The representative of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) in Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, Dr. Rasul Baghirov, has call for calm as fears grow about the coronavirus spreading in the Pacific.

"I have mentioned this in [an] N.U.S. seminar and will say it again; it is important to try and live without fear,” he said. “By doing this we have to have knowledge and understanding, we tend to panic because of fear and this will not help.”

The call from the W.H.O. representative comes as they work with the Ministry of Health to roll out awareness programmes on ways to minimise the risks of COVID-19. The work is being done in Samoa and American Samoa and other Pacific nations.

W.H.O. is working closely with the Health Emergency Operations Committee (H.E.O.C.).

Speaking during an interview with the Samoa Observer, Dr. Baghirov said while he understands that it’s natural for people to panic, it is more important that they are kept informed and educated about how to respond.

“This is the purpose of having these awareness programmes.

“All countries under the country office’s portfolio will continue to receive technical support together with the provision of personal protective equipment (P.P.E).

" We (W.H.O) provide advice for the Ministry of Health and support their programmes.”

W.H.O. is doing this throughout the world, given the declaration that Covid-19 is now pandemic.

 “We want to educate people on ways to handle and minimize the spread starting with hygiene and proper hand washing," he said.

The official said the programmes are being rolled out in schools and villages.

"Teams will be sent to different villages and organizations for the programmes and it is the same for American Samoa.

“At the moment it is impossible to say which country the COVID-19 will hit first, we have numbers of confirmed cases from 100 countries and just recently 16 cases from Vietnam and 10 from Macau, we are all at risk.”



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