New Delhi, April 9: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has denounced the social stigma being faced by heathcare workers in the face of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released yesterday, the union ministry cited several reports of incidents where healthcare workers, sanitary workers and police have been facing discrimination on account of fear, panic and misinformation about COVID-19 infection.
The statement said: “Public health emergencies during outbreak of communicable diseases may cause fear and anxiety leading to prejudices against people and communities, social isolation and stigma. Such behavior may culminate into increased hostility, chaos and unnecessary social disruptions.”
The ministry also came up with a list of do’s and don’ts in their effort to “counter such prejudices” and so that we “respond appropriately in the face of this adversity”.
* Appreciate efforts of people providing essential services and be supportive towards them and their families.
* Share only the authentic information available on the website of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India or the World Health Organisation.
* Cross check any information related to COVID-19 from reliable sources before forwarding any messages on social media.
* Share positive stories of those who have recovered from COVID-19.
* Never spread names or identity of those affected or under quarantine or their locality on the 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 spread of COVID-19.
* Avoid addressing those under treatment as COVID victims. Address them as “people recovering from COVID”.
The nationwide tally of coronavirus infections rises sharply to over 5,600 cases with more than 180 deaths, reported till Wednesday evening. (Agencies)