Tamil Nadu

More awareness on seriousness of COVID-19 infection sought

At a conference of activists belonging to Makkal Nala Iyakkam (People’s Health Movement) of the Tamil Nadu unit, held virtually on Monday, several field workers called for increasing awareness on the spread of COVID-19 infection and vaccination.

The workers said among the lay public in the rural areas and among those with lower resources and poor education there was very little awareness about the seriousness of the infection. Such people needed to be given priority and protected, they said.

Several of them had concerns about the after-effects of vaccination. Some of them said as reports of people experiencing adverse reactions were shared among the community others hesitated to take the vaccine. A field worker said her father had refused the vaccine and advised her also to not get inoculated. Activists including Ameer Khan, N. Suresh and Dr. Gandhimathi dispelled the myth regarding vaccination and urged her to get vaccinated.

They also said some people could have adverse reactions that could be treated properly if they approached a doctor.

Another field worker raised the issue of care for the infected. In the first wave of the pandemic, the civic body had appointed volunteers to check on the sick. However, such volunteers were missing in the current wave.

One of the concerns that participants raised was lack of beds and oxygen. They suggested that the government take over beds in private hospitals under the Disaster Management Act to ensure that no patient is denied bed or oxygen in an emergency.

In order to actively promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, the government must revamp public communication strategies instead of using coercion, shaming and blaming the victims, the activists said.

They also said small hospitals made it mandatory for patients to arrange for drugs such as Remdesivir in order to be treated even for mild symptoms.

The activists said the government’s lack of understanding of the pandemic had led to permitting events such as Kumbh Mela which resulted in becoming a super spreader. The participants called for intense efforts not only to educate people but also to ensure that people are traced and tested to avoid the spread of the infection.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:40:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/more-awareness-on-seriousness-of-covid-19-infection-sought/article34530506.ece

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