‘Too Much Of Anything Is Bad,’ With This Thought In Mind These Doctors In Kerala Are Debunking Myths About Health

New Delhi: “When people got familiar with the current COVID-19 scenarios, what are the types of messages that flooded our social media or WhatsApp? Some shared natural remedies like eating garlic as a cure to the disease while some shared how drinking alcohol or spraying it on our body can kill the virus. Not just these, there were hundreds of remedies floating on social media. Isn’t it,” asked Jithin T Joseph, co-founder of a unique platform called Info Clinic, a Facebook page that has been set to counter false information, myths, and superstitions with regards to health, diseases, and its treatment. The initiative is spearheaded by a team of doctors from various fields in Kerala who want to put a stop at all such fake news or myths related to health and diseases and guide the common masses with true information.

Also Read: Kerala Becomes A ‘Model State’ In The Fight Against Coronavirus: State Health Minister KK Shailaja Explains How

Doctors In Kerala Are Debunking Myths About Health And Diseases On Social Media
The initiative started with a team of five doctors spearheading Info Clinic and now the team has more than 38 doctors all working to debunk the common health and disease myths taking rounds on social media

What Led To The Birth Of Info Clinic Initiative In Kerala

Talking about the idea and what prompted the birth of Info Clinic in Kerala back in 2016, Jithin T Joseph adds,

At that point in time, the state was going through diphtheria outbreak and on the other hand, social media was growing so much that it had become a daily source of gaining news for the masses. We saw there was a lot of misinformation about the outbreak and its remedies that were circulating. A state like Kerala, which has the highest literacy rate was also at the receiving end of the harms that are caused due to fake news or misleading information. Percentage of vaccinations for diphtheria came down, which was supposed to be a legit cure. At that point, we were very disappointed as we saw people believing the remedies circulating on social media as a cure and not taking vaccinations. We decided to write an article about the disease and its treatment and that’s how the idea of starting Info Clinic was mooted. Soon, we decided to make Info Clinic a platform where we can publish all such articles and educate the masses about the right things when it comes to health issues, diseases and its treatment.

It all started with a team of five doctors spearheading Info Clinic, a Facebook page, four years down the line, it has now become a team of 38 specialist doctors, from both public and private hospitals, who works only on spreading right knowledge and information about major disease outbreaks or pandemics like the one which the world is undergoing currently – coronavirus. Jithin T Joseph said,

What binds us all together is our mutual interest about health issues and diseases, we have more than 1 lakh people who follow us on our social media, moreover, we have a dedicated website where we publish all our findings, research and knowledge. For now, the initiative is limited to the state of Kerala, but we do try and convert important articles in English so that more and more people can get aware. Till now, we have written more than 350 plus articles in Malayalam and English language.

Debunking Myths In The Time Of Coronavirus

Further talking about the current pandemic – coronavirus and how big the problem of myths, conspiracy theories, fake news around it was in Kerala, which is known as one of the better performers in dealing with the crisis, Mr Joseph said that in Kerala as well the problem of misinformation was huge. Highlighting what went right with Kerala when it comes to coronavirus, he said,

“But what the state did differently was that it started to put out all the information related to the pandemic out there on social media – be it government accounts or health minister. Everyone in the state was trying to make people aware of the situation by simply putting out facts. That really helped the state cope up well with the pandemic.

Highlighting the kinds of misinformation Info Clinic has dealt in the past when it comes to coronavirus outbreak, Mr Joseph said,

The list is never-ending. I remember people posting queries about things like if coronavirus will go away by putting a sanitiser with alcohol content in it then can drinking alcohol make them COVID-19 resistant or if they take a hot water bath, they will be protected from the virus. There were myths about yoga and coronavirus, people thought those who perform yoga are less likely to get infected with the virus. There were also questions on the use of spraying disinfectants on one’s body or surfaces, but in medical terms, it was not an effective cure for COVID-19.

In Kerala, disinfectant booths were installed and there were cases in recent past that some of the vehicles have caught fire after the disinfectant was sprayed on them because of the alcohol content. Sharing an example of this incident, Mr Joseph added,

There was a lot of discussion around it and we wrote an article on the same topic, it gained a lot of eyes and after that even the World Health Organisation passed the guideline saying that the use of disinfectant is not the solution.

Stressing on the point that controlling information that is misleading or fake on social media is very tough, Mr Joseph said,

Social Media is a platform where anyone can share anything. Now, today, if I get a WhatsApp forward saying eating garlic can cure COVID-19 and if I decide to post it further – I will be misleading 500 people who follow me on a certain platform. Now, even if one of them passes it on to their group, it will affect more people and the count soon will be endless. That’s how difficult it is to control misinformation being passed on various platforms. Most of the questions and misinformation about coronavirus which we had to deal with in recent times were related to its cure. As it is a new deadly virus and everybody is looking for the information that can protect them, so most of the people end up believing the random misinformation that is passed and that’s where Info Clinic comes in picture. Daily, we try and come up with some or the other article that tries to debunk such myths.

Also Read: Kerala Fights COVID-19: ‘Triple Lockdown’ In Thiruvananthapuram, Here’s All You Need To Know

Doctors In Kerala Are Debunking Myths About Health And Diseases On Social Media
Info Clinic was kick-started in 2016 as a Facebook Page, now the initiative also has a dedicated website where they post articles on health, diseases and its treatment

Highlighting about the learnings and challenges of an initiative like an Info Clinic, Mr Joseph signed off by saying,

Over the years, we have realised, misinformation that is passed on social media is the biggest threat to the society in terms of the health care system. When we started back in 2016, we never thought we will grow like this and help so many people by passing on the right knowledge. Whereas, when we talk about the challenges, one of the biggest threats is the reach of social media, the way information spreads via this medium is uncontrollable. Currently, anyone and everyone is sharing something or the other related to the diseases, so the fake news that we call in the health and disease sector is spreading like a wildfire. Wish there can be a way in the future to control this. Until then, we all need to be very very careful that we don’t pass on things which we are not sure of until it is backed with voices of experts and doctors. We need to stop learning things from what we now call as WhatsApp University. Let’s all be responsible and share the information wisely.

Also Read: Meet Kerala’s Coronavirus Warriors Who Are Tracking Thousands In Quarantine Everyday

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 current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) 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, fight malnutrition, 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 where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

4,12,26,932Cases
1,19,76,185Active
2,81,19,448Recovered
11,31,299Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 189 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 4,12,26,932 and 11,31,299 have died; 1,19,76,185 are active cases and 2,81,19,448 have recovered as on October 22, 2020 at 4:03 am.

India

77,06,946 55839Cases
7,15,812 -24278Active
68,74,518 79415Recovered
1,16,616 702Deaths
In India, there are 77,06,946 confirmed cases including 1,16,616 deaths. The number of active cases is 7,15,812 and 68,74,518 have recovered as on October 22, 2020 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

16,17,658 8,142

1,59,346 15,409

14,15,679 23,371

42,633 180

DistrictCases
Kurnool795
Krishna557
Guntur511
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Chittoor319
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Y.S.R.205
West Godavari199
Srikakulam183
Prakasam104
Visakhapatnam103
Vizianagaram23

7,93,299 3,746

32,376 1,020

7,54,415 4,739

6,508 27

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

7,82,773 5,872

1,00,459 3,505

6,71,618 9,289

10,696 88

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

6,97,116 3,086

35,480 1,254

6,50,856 4,301

10,780 39

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

4,61,475 2,321

29,364 1,052

4,25,356 3,332

6,755 41

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kasaragod333
Palakkad224
Malappuram119
Kollam118
Thrissur106
Thiruvananthapuram104
Pathanamthitta98
Kozhikode90
Alappuzha76
Kottayam73
Ernakulam60
Idukki40
Wayanad36

3,61,841 8,369

93,527 1,504

2,67,082 6,839

1,232 26

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

3,40,436 3,686

24,117 195

3,10,191 3,444

6,128 47

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

3,33,126 4,069

35,579 409

2,91,303 3,596

6,244 64

DistrictCases
Ganjam581
Jajapur322
Khordha238
Baleshwar190
Kendrapara164
Cuttack155
Bhadrak137
Balangir129
Puri103
Sundargarh102
Jagatsinghapur91
Nayagarh86
Mayurbhanj73
Nuapada69
Gajapati61
Dhenkanal36
Boudh34
Kendujhar34
Deogarh33
Kalahandi33
Sonepur29
Kandhamal28
Anugul26
Malkangiri20
Bargarh16
Koraput16
Sambalpur16
Jharsuguda8
Nabarangpur2
Rayagada2

2,74,181 1,931

18,087 798

2,54,913 2,716

1,181 13

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

2,27,580 1,456

20,183 266

2,06,105 1,717

1,292 5

DistrictCases
Patna279
Bhagalpur266
Rohtas256
Khagaria253
Begusarai243
Madhubani199
Munger188
Jehanabad178
Katihar175
Darbhanga143
Samastipur139
Siwan139
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Banka134
Buxar134
Nalanda123
Gopalganj123
Nawada122
Sheikhpura118
Gaya115
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Bhojpur103
Saran101
Muzaffarpur96
Saharsa88
Supaul87
Vaishali87
Madhepura82
Kishanganj75
Aurangabad75
Sitamarhi73
Lakhisarai72
Araria68
Pashchim Champaran57
Arwal52
Jamui47
Sheohar20

2,08,377 972

11,118 230

1,96,240 1,194

1,019 8

DistrictCases
Kamrup Metro276
Golaghat203
Nagaon143
Hojai89
Dima Hasao86
Karimganj85
Tinsukia84
Cachar80
Dibrugarh61
Hailakandi57
Lakhimpur57
Marigaon50
Dhemaji47
Kamrup42
Kokrajhar37
Dhubri30
Charaideo29
Barpeta28
Udalguri28
Sonitpur27
Jorhat24
Nalbari23
Darrang20
Sivasagar20
Goalpara19
Biswanath16
Baksa14
KarbiAnglong13
Bongaigaon12
Chirang6
West KarbiAnglong5
South SalmaraMancachar4
Majuli2

2,02,774 701

25,807 968

1,76,078 1,664

889 5

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

1,78,933 1,810

19,185 1,069

1,57,960 2,865

1,788 14

DistrictCases
Bilaspur100
Korba100
Mungeli87
Baloda Bazar85
Jashpur77
Janjgir-Champa56
Mahasamund54
Rajnandgaon52
Kabirdham52
Raigarh47
Raipur46
Balod41
Korea39
Durg31
Bemetara21
Kanker19
Balrampur17
Surguja14
Gariyaband10
Surajpur9
Dhamtari6
Bijapur2
Bastar2
Dantewada0
Kondagaon0
Narayanpur0
Sukma0

1,67,639 2,360

25,795 86

1,40,216 2,230

1,628 44

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

1,63,296 1,118

12,386 121

1,48,082 1,222

2,828 17

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

1,62,823 1,137

14,193 52

1,44,970 1,180

3,660 9

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

1,53,367 1,193

10,187 109

1,41,506 1,070

1,674 14

DistrictCases
Amritsar485
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Tarn Taran163
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
S.A.S Nagar137
Patiala132
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Pathankot86
Rupnagar (Ropar)74
Faridkot74
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Moga65
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Firozepur50
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Barnala25

1,29,088 498

4,808 87

1,20,220 562

4,060 23

DistrictCases
East Singhbum170
Ranchi148
Hazaribagh110
Garhwa80
Ramgarh75
Koderma58
Simdega48
Dhanbad32
Gumla28
Palamu27
West Singhbhum21
SaraikelaKharsawan20
Giridih19
Bokaro16
Latehar14
Khunti10
Lohardaga8
Deoghar5
Dumka5
Pakur4
Jamtara2
Godda2
Chatra1
Sahebganj0

98,061 647

6,206 26

91,004 619

851 2

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Srinagar300
Kulgam295
Baramulla271
Shopian255
Kupwara231
Bandipora175
Udhampur155
Ramban151
Jammu138
Budgam110
Pulwama108
Kathua53
Rajouri39
Ganderbal37
Poonch35
Doda27
Reasi26
Samba25
Kishtwar10
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0

89,582 624

8,088 36

80,092 655

1,402 5

DistrictCases
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Tehri Garhwal110
Haridwar94
Udam Singh Nagar83
Almora71
Champawat45
Pithoragarh43
Chamoli36
PauriGarhwal36
Bageshwar31
Rudraprayag30
Uttar Kashi24

59,106 505

5,085 279

53,061 770

960 14

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

41,339 308

3,099 102

37,683 408

557 2

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

33,622 170

4,026 75

29,016 242

580 3

DistrictCases
Dhalai196
Sepahijala174
Gomati74
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45
Khowai24
North Tripura14

29,925 125

2,339 116

27,252 239

334 2

DistrictCases
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Una41
Solan32
Chamba29
Bilaspur21
Mandi21
Sirmaur11
Shimla10
Kullu4
Kinnaur2
Lahaul And Spiti0

19,621 264

2,636 40

16,706 219

279 5

DistrictCases
Churachandpur32
Kangpokpi26
Imphal West21
Thoubal18
Imphal East10
Tengnoupal9
Bishnupur7
Senapati6
Chandel5
Kamjong5
Ukhrul4
Jiribam3
Pherzawl3
Kakching2
Tamenglong2
Noney1

16,267 205

3,846 36

12,297 238

124 3

DistrictCases
Changlang31
Papum Pare8
Lohit3
Namsai2
West Siang1
East Siang1
Upper Siang1
Tawang1
PakkeKessang1
West Kameng0
Upper Subansiri0
Tirap0
Siang0
Shi Yomi0
Anjaw0
Lower Subansiri0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Longding0
Leparada0
KurungKumey0
KraDaadi0
Kamle0
East Kameng0
Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0

13,912 134

2,682 30

11,199 164

31

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

13,795 52

744 66

12,842 118

209

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
West Garo Hills5
South West Garo Hills4
North Garo Hills1
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Khasi Hills0

8,621 28

1,870 150

6,674 177

77 1

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Mon8
Kohima7
Kiphire3
Tuensang3
Peren2
Phek1
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

8,139 119

1,683 25

6,428 94

28

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

5,781 86

848 7

4,865 78

68 1

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

4,168 27

199 16

3,913 11

56

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

3,677 34

253 1

3,361 35

63

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,207 13

44 5

3,161 8

2

DistrictCases
Kolasib11
Aizawl10
Mamit8
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Saitual1
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Saiha0
Serchhip0

2,341 31

167 22

2,174 9

0

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

0

0 0

0

0

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