On Thursday, July 9, the Union Health Ministry stated that 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases in India were reported from 90 districts, 14 of which are from the states in the northeastern part of the country. It further noted that the second wave of the pandemic is not over, and hence people should not let their guard down as yet.
Bringing out the issues specifically concerning the northeastern states, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that the Centre has supported these states to combat the pandemic through a "proactive, pre-emptive and a graded approach".
Workshop By Health Ministry, UNICEF
The secretary was speaking at a virtual workshop organised by the Union Health Ministry in collaboration with United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The workshop was on the present pandemic situation in the country, the importance of busting myths about vaccines or vaccination and strengthening the need for following COVID-appropriate behaviour. It primarily addressed health correspondents and media professionals from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura, reported Business Standard.
Covid Management Strategy
Highlighting India's covid management strategy, a statement from the health ministry stated that there are three elements in the combat against coronavirus: evidence-based reporting, community ownership of COVID-appropriate behaviour, and breaking misconceptions about the vaccines and vaccination.
According to the statement, the workshop highlighted the various possible reasons for vaccine hesitancy, which could be local and be different for different community groups. It also brought out the Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI), how it could be managed, and the best ways to report on the issue.
Media: An Important Stakeholder
Notably, Agarwal recognised media as an essential stakeholder in building and enabling an environment for vaccination by addressing fears and apprehensions around it. He suggested that media can play a constructive role in busting myths and fake news widely circulated on social media.
Moreover, he mentioned that media professionals have a significant influence on society, which they can use to motivate the mass to get vaccinated and follow covid-appropriate behaviour. He further prodded media persons to create a public movement by upholding community warriors as role models.