Odisha to intensify COVID-19 awareness campaign

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With the state reporting more than 800 new COVID-19 cases in the first week of June, Odisha government has asked different departments to intensify awareness campaign as there is no medicine or vaccine for novel coronavirus.

Chief Secretary A K Tripathy on Monday issued directions to Information and Public Relation, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water, Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti Departments to intensify IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities with the active involvement of the community.

Apart from social media, Tripathy also asked the officials to use traditional modes like TV, radio, leaflets and posters while reviewing the progress of the special awareness campaign “Mu bi Covid Yodha” (I am a Covid warrior).

“Information, Education and Communication are the key to win the fight against Covid-19 and check the possible spread of the pandemic”, the chief secretary said, adding that an aware and alert community can achieve wonders in the fight against this unseen enemy.

He said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had cautioned the people as well as the administration that the month of June will be very challenging as more than 5 lakh Odia migrant workers have returned from different highly infected states and monsoon is also likely to onset on 10th of this month.

“The campaign will focus on spreading awareness among people on the need of social distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene to curb the spread of the virus,” said Tripathy.

He said the involvement of panchayati raj institutions have yielded good results in containing the spread of the diseases in initial phases and directed officials to set up ward committees in both rural and urban areas so that surveillance could be more effective.

He also suggested that the campaign be intensified through active involvement of women self-help groups, panchayati raj institutions, farmer producer groups and school management committees

Odisha had reported only 284 COVID-19 cases till May 9. It has now increased to 2,994. In one month the state has reported more than 2,700 cases.

Information and Public Relations secretary S K Singh said, “The camping has been launched to infuse in the people the values of self responsibility with the spirit of Ama Swasthya Ama Hatare (our health in our hand).”

The main themes of the campaign include personal hygiene, hand washing use of mask, social distancing, care of the old and vulnerable, eradication of social stigma, self- monitoring, community surveillance quarantine and making use of 104 and telemedicine, he said.

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