Citing the rise in COVID-19 cases, the central government has asked the state to implement a targeted public communication campaign at the grassroot level to encourage ‘appropriate behaviour’ among those residing in its worst affected districts, including Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Sangli and Kolhapur. The focus of the campaign will be on inducing change in behavior and on educating people on how to live with the virus in the unlock phase.
The union Health Ministry, in its recent communication to the state government, said that all appropriate media vehicles, such as print media, electronic media, social media, outdoor media and folk media, would be used to convey the message in an effective manner. DD Sahyadri and All India Radio would mount special programmes on COVID-19. The support of FM radio channels and Community Radio Stations will also be sought.
This will be carried out simultaneously with the My Family, My Responsibility campaign, which aims at effective health care education to curb the spread of the virus. It will be implemented in two phases.
According to the Health Ministry, key communication pointers will talk about hand hygiene, wearing masks, maintaining social distance, de-stigmatisation of the disease, dos and don’ts for home isolation and warn against self-medication.
To facilitate the implementation of the focused communication strategy, district administrations have been asked to constitute District Level Communication Management teams under the overall supervision of the District Collector along with the District Surveillance Officer, District Information Officer, Broadcasting Ministry and other experts as members. The District Surveillance Officer will be the nodal officer for this purpose.