Campaigner says Bougainvilleans careless about Covid-19

10:01 am on 31 March 2021

A women's health campaigner on Bougainville says most Bougainvilleans have a "careless" attitude to the threat posed by Covid-19.


Arawa Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

As the coronavirus has swept through Papua New Guinea in recent weeks, Bougainville has been badly hit, with more 100 cases so far.

Strict rules were in place but they were not being enforced.

Helen Hakena from the Nehan Leitana Women's Development Agency in Buka said most people were not following the rules.

"People here don't seem to care. A minority group care - they have masks, they use hand santisers and they are doing socially distancing, but the majority of people here on Bougainville, they are going about on cares, overloaded, churches are full on Sundays, the market is full with people, people sitting close to each other.

"People just don't care. There is a careless attitude here in Bougainville."

Helen Hakena.

Helen Hakena. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hakena said planes and ships were still arriving and there seemed to be complete freedom of movement.

She said there was a need for a major awareness campaign by the authorities, or another lockdown.

Hakena said the lockdown last year during the election campaign worked well.

There was some talk several weeks ago of a limited lockdown in Buka but nothing had come of it so far.