With three more days to go before the annual staging of the Goroka Show, the Provincial Administrator of Eastern Highlands Province, Mr John Gimiseve has released the following media statement advising all concerned:
We understand and acknowledged that a lot of time, preparation, commitment by individuals, groups, communities and business houses, have been made towards the Iconic global event- Goroka Show. However, it is with regret that the show will not proceed as scheduled given our current COVID 19 situation in the Province.
From experience, our province suffered 16 deaths and over 50 people admitted to our hospital between March and April 2021, from COVID 19. The situation subsided from June to August 2021. However, in the first two weeks (3-12 September) alone, 24 new cases and 4 deaths were recorded in the hospital. That is very alarming and serious for our province.
As we speak, our hospital does not have the capacity to manage over 20 critically ill COVID 19 cases. The hospital’s capacity to effectively deal with such is stretched to the maximum.
COVID 19 and its recent variant are also unpredictable. To further complicate the situation, our population in general are not adhering to the New Normal Measures. Even the vaccine uptake among our frontline population in the province at 33% is risky.
The huge number of unvaccinated (unprotected) population accessing the show places a greater risk and will culminate in enormous calamity after the show.
In light of all the above, I have no choice but to immediately cancel the Goroka Show from proceeding as planned. The health and wellbeing of the bulk of the population of EHP takes precedence over all other considerations. I cannot and will not take the risk of compromising the people’s health. This also means all other public events that attract the congregation of people should also be put off until further notice.
Thank you all for your understanding.