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Punjab Minister Launches Drive To Counter Misinformation About Coronavirus

Launching the awareness drive, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said a stigma and discrimination have been attached with COVID-19 which needed to be addressed immediately

Punjab Minister Launches Drive To Counter Misinformation About Coronavirus
  • Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu launched an awareness campaign
  • The awareness campaign aims to counter misinformation about coronavirus
  • The campaign is in collaboration with UNDP and WHO
Chandigarh: Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Friday launched an awareness campaign to counter misinformation about coronavirus on social media. Launching the drive, Mr Sidhu said stigma and discrimination have been attached to the disease which needed to be addressed immediately.
Mr Sidhu, according to an official statement here, said the campaign will be conducted by the Punjab government in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Besides counselling, it is necessary that reliable and accurate information regarding COVID-19 is provided to all patients so that they do not fall for misinformation, Mr Sidhu said.
The Punjab minister said the campaign also aims at providing relief to the patients suffering from mental stress. Asking people not to believe in rumours being circulated on social media, Mr Sidhu said strict action will be taken against those behind it. Divulging more about the campaign, the statement quoting Dr Manisha Mandal, state Project Officer of the UNDP, said there is a lot of misinformation being circulated, which necessitated such a campaign.
Several rumours, including the alleged organ harvesting of coronavirus patients, have posed a new challenge to the Punjab Health Department as people in some villages are preventing medical teams from collecting samples, officials had said on Wednesday.
Health authorities have appealed to people not to fall prey to such canards and get themselves tested for early detection of the infection.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fightmalnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene.

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