10 worst-hit states asked to improve messaging strategy

Cristopher Centers

The government has asked the 10 worst-hit states to enforce targeted public communication campaigns to control the coronavirus pandemic as deaths crossed the 90,000 mark nationally and cases swelled to 5.66 million on Wednesday. These states together account for 76% of all reported covid-19 cases and 83% of the 1,085 […]

The government has asked the 10 worst-hit states to enforce targeted public communication campaigns to control the coronavirus pandemic as deaths crossed the 90,000 mark nationally and cases swelled to 5.66 million on Wednesday.

These states together account for 76% of all reported covid-19 cases and 83% of the 1,085 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. They were asked to implement targeted public communication campaigns at the grassroot level to encourage “covid appropriate behaviour” by residents of the worst-affected districts.

The 10 states, which have the highest number of active cases, are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala, Telangana and Delhi.

The focus of the targeted communication campaign will be on behaviour change and educating people on how to live with covid 19 in the unlock phase.

Within Maharashtra, the districts of Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Sangli and Kolhapur have been identified for intensive covid communication, the Centre said in a statement.

Graphic: Mint

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Graphic: Mint

Based on expert interactions, the health ministry has identified key communication pointers covering covid appropriate behaviour like hand hygiene, wearing of mask and safe distancing, de-stigmatization of disease, the dos and don’ts of home isolation, and warning against self-medication.

To facilitate the implementation of the strategy, district administrations have been asked to constitute communication management teams under the supervision of the district collector.

Print and electronic media, including FM and community radio, social media, outdoor media and folk media would be used to get the message home.

The national positivity rate was 8.52% and the tests per million stood at 48,028 on Wednesday. A total of 83,347 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.

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