AWBCE would like to thank the Australian people and the Australian government.
This is a very difficult time for individuals, families, businesses, and the public at large.
We thank the South Sudanese Community Association of Western Australia for forming the health committee to continue promoting awareness and sharing information regarding the coronavirus and associated rules, restrictions, and government updates.
The coronavirus is causing significant anxiety among the community. People are worried about not understanding the causes and potential treatments of the virus, and they fear the impact it may have on health.
Africa World Books Community Education will resume hosting of community leaders and committees, using Facebook livestreams in order to comply with current restrictions on public gatherings.
The livestreams will provide coronavirus updates in various languages, including Zande, Nuer, Dinka, Arabic, and English, for the benefit of older members of our community who cannot read or understand English news. The health committee will offer advice on prevention measures, and welfare support will link elders with service providers. We thank those in leadership for organising audio in Zande, Dinka, Nuer, and English, making information accessible.
Our government, our country, and our world are experiencing a trying time. We will continue to fight coronavirus and help each other, and Australia will be elevated anew. We wish Australian people and the people of the world good health and wellness. and we give a special thought to Manyang Malet, one of our authors, who is stranded in Kenya. We wish the authors, business partners, customers, editors, coordinators, and friends of Africa World Books immeasurable health.
Department of Home Affairs
The Department of Home Affairs has translated information into 8 languages: Arabic, Chinese simplified, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Department of Health
The Department of Health is in the process of translating COVID-19 fact sheets into additional languages—Arabic, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai, Assyrian, Swahili, Dari, Nepali, Burmese, Hazaragi, Karen, Tigrinya, and Farsi (Afghan). These translations can be found on the Department of Health website as they become available.
Advice About Wearing Face Masks
Many members of the community have reached out to tell us that they are having difficulty assessing whether or not it is appropriate to wear a face mask and that they have been treated differently when wearing them.
The official advice from the Department of Health is that most people will not benefit from wearing a surgical mask, recommending that the use of face masks should be limited to those who are sick and healthcare workers. It is also worth noting that if you are suspected of having COVID-19, you will be provided with a surgical mask by your primary care provider for use when entering the emergency department or general practice and in all public places.
These Department of Health fact sheets are also available in simplified Chinese, Farsi, and Korean.
Anxiety About COVID-19
High levels of uncertainty around health and financial security are causing considerable distress and anxiety in the community. At this stage, our responsibility is to maintain good hand washing practices and adhere to social distancing rules. It is important to remember that we must each take responsibility for our own response to the virus.
Practical psychological skills may help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety and worry about the coronavirus. Links are also provided to Lifeline and MindSpot resources that can be accessed via telephone if further support is needed.
Hopefully, these resources are of value to you. Please distribute this information to your communities so that they remain informed and updated.