ITANAGAR, Jul 13: The directorate of health services (DHS) has said there is an urgent need to counter prejudice against frontline workers and those affected by Covid-19, on account of heightened fear and misinformation about infection.
In a press statement, the DHS said there is a need to “rise as a community that is empowered with health literacy and responds appropriately in the face of this adversity.”
It highlighted how healthcare workers, sanitary workers and police are rendering services tirelessly in addressing the challenge of Covid-19.
“They all deserve our support, praise and appreciation. Targeting essential services providers and their families
will weaken our fight against Covid-19 and can prove grievously detrimental for the entire nation,” it said.
It advised the citizens to understand that “although Covid-19 is a highly contagious disease which spreads fast and can infect any one of us, we can protect ourselves through social distancing, washing our hands regularly and following sneezing/coughing etiquettes.”
“Despite all precautions, if anybody catches the infection, it is not their fault. In the 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,” the DHS said.
It informed that all those directly involved in the management of Covid-19 are equipped with appropriate protective equipment to keep them safe from infection.
Reportedly, even those who have recovered from Covid-19 are facing discrimination, besides certain communities and areas being labelled based purely on false reports floating on social media and elsewhere, it said.
“Prejudices against people and communities, social isolation and stigma may culminate into increased hostility, chaos and unnecessary social disruptions,” the DHS said.
It also issued a list of dos and don’ts.
# Appreciate efforts of people providing essential services and be supportive towards them and their families.
# Share only authentic information available on the website of the union health & family welfare ministry or the World Health Organization.
# Cross-check any information related to Covid-19 with reliable sources before forwarding any messages on social media.
# Share positive stories of those who have recovered from Covid-19.
# Never spread the names or identity of those who are affected or are under quarantine, or their locality on social media.
# Avoid spreading fear and panic.
# Do not target healthcare and sanitary workers or police. They are there to help you.
# Do not label any community or area for the spread of Covid-19.
# Avoid addressing those under treatment as Covid victims. Address them as “people recovering from Covid.”