Ministry of Health Issues Advisory on Social Stigma
DD News
May 31, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spike in fake messages being circulated on social media, which is causing the stigmatisation of individuals and communities. In our latest ISH & You video, we explai

The spread of COVID-19 in India has led to many infections but it has also led to the spread of many social problems in the country. COVID-19 has led to an increase in fear, confusion and aggression in the society. People are discriminating against COVID positive patients and their family members, due to fear of infections. People are spreading names, addresses and photos of COVID patients. Most of the time, this information is fake. But people begin discriminating against these people. Families of Doctors and Nurses have also been attacked and discriminated against. All of this only makes us weak against the virus. In order to fight the virus, we need to be united and strong. We can not be afraid, spread rumours and treat people badly. 

In order to be united against COVID-19 the Ministry of Health Family Welfare has issued certain point that we must all follow: 

 Remember PM Modi had said that medical workers are like God. They are here to help us. We must appreciate their hard work and support their families by being kind. Assaulting medical workers and discriminating against their families will affect the morale of the medical workers which will make it difficult to control the virus. So support them and cheer them. Remember the government is doing everything to keep them safe by giving them PPEs. 

 Share only the authentic information available on the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India or the World Health Organisation. 

Before you share any information on WhatsApp or any social media, cross-check with reliable sources. Forward them only if it is true. If you are unsure better not share. Messages on WhatsApp become viral very quickly and if it is fake it can cause a lot of misunderstanding in society. If you receive messages on groups and know it is fake, quickly tell the group it is fake so people do not share it. 

Share positive stories of those who have recovered from COVID-19. 

Never spread the names or identity of those affected or under quarantine or their locality on social media. Spreading such information affects the mental health of people. 

 Do not spread fear and panic. 

 Do not label any community or area for the spread of COVID-19.

Despite all precautions, if anybody catches the infection, it is not their fault. In such a situation the patient and the family need support and cooperation. Social stigmatisation affects patients negatively which makes their recovery harder. It must be noted that the condition is curable and most people recover from it.