Don’t discriminate, says health dept

‘Most recover from Covid-19’

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Apr 10: For the first time, the state’s health department has addressed the issue of social stigma attached to Covid-19.
In its daily media bulletin, the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme’s state surveillance cell on Friday acknowledged that “cases have been reported of people affected with Covid-19, as well as healthcare workers, sanitary workers and police who are on the frontline for management of the outbreak, facing discrimination on account of heightened fear and misinformation about infection.”
It said certain communities and areas are being labelled based purely on false reports floating on social media and elsewhere.
“There is an urgent need to counter such prejudices and to rise as a community that is empowered with
health literacy and respond appropriately in the face of this adversity,” the surveillance cell said.
It said public health emergencies during outbreak of communicable diseases may cause fear and anxiety, leading to prejudices against people and communities, besides social isolation and stigma.
“Such behaviour may culminate in increased hostility, chaos and unnecessary social disruptions,” it said.
The surveillance cell urged the citizens to maintain social distancing, wash hands regularly, and follow sneezing and coughing etiquettes.
“Despite all precautions, if anybody catches the infection, it is not their fault. In situation of distress, the patient and the family need support and cooperation. It must be noted that the condition is curable and most people recover from it,” it said.
Till now the state has reported one Covid-19 positive case.