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AYO calls to dispel stigma around COVID-19; Seeks dignified burial of COVID deaths

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, MAY 27: The Angami Youth Organization (AYO) has expressed concern over the stigma of COVID-19 in the State and appealed to the authorities to create awareness to prevent stigmatization of COVID patients.
In an appeal, the AYO said the massive increase in COVID-19 cases has led to dismay and panic among the people, with fear of the disease and an uncertain future haunting all. “However, one of the important concerns and one that needs to be urgently attended to is stigmatization associated with the pandemic,” it stated.

According to the Organization, the stigma of COVID-19, in the present context has led to several incidents of families not willing to perform burial of bodies of Coronavirus patients fearing contamination and colonies, and villages denying burials in its jurisdiction leading to the stigmatization of COVID patients. It urged the medical fraternity to come up with clear do’s and don’ts that are in consonance with our burial practices, so that the dead can be given a safe and dignified burial at any given place without any jurisdictional concerns.
‘Delayed treatment’
AYO also stated that the stigma of COVID-19 is preventing people with possible COVID symptoms from getting tested and seeking timely treatment due to the fear of being scorned by neighbours, community, etc.
“The feedback from our medical community points out that there is a definite benefit of early treatment in COVID-19 and most of the recent casualties of COVID-19 have been due to late presentation to the hospital”, it reminded.
Towards this end, the AYO urged the authorities to raise awareness of the disease among the people and to prevent stigmatization, helpline numbers, easy-to-use mobile applications and dedicated portals be created preferably in local dialects, where all the information regarding nearest testing facilities, safe and dignified burial practices, benefits of early treatment, etc. and all other necessary information can be collected.
With the pandemic showing no immediate signs of waning off, AYO said safe COVID appropriate behaviour, vaccination, and early treatment are the only tools against it. It appealed to the State Government to accelerate the vaccination drive with utmost transparency, give assurance to the people with regards to vaccine stock, oxygen supplies, medication supplies for COVID and other emerging diseases associated with it like black fungus infection, etc.
‘Economic cost’
Stating that the second wave has not just brought with it a huge rise in the number of cases and deaths, but also brought economic hardships and social anxiety with a significant segment of the society dreading an uncertain future, the AUO urged the Government to put in place sound policies and solutions at the earliest so that livelihoods are not threatened, while the future of students is also not compromised because of perpetual lockdown.

The Organization also appealed to the business community not to sell essential commodities at exorbitant rates. Noting that imposition of lockdown has affected the entire population and not one particular section of the community, it said this is the hour where every section of the society should come together and contribute as a team, keeping in mind the larger interest of the majority.
“Along with the world and our country, we are undergoing a difficult situation. Let us give a concerted effort to fight against OVID-19.,” it appealed. (Page News Service)