The fear around Covid 19 is higher in India when compared to Western countries; the fear has equally taken the younger and older generation of India into its grip. National lockdown and mounting numbers in the average daily growth rate of Covid cases have added to the rising tensions amongst people.
While the Covid cases in the country crossed 1 lakh mark, social distancing, which forms the core for preventing the spread of virus still lacks proper information sharing and awareness building. On one hand, accentuated fear due to restrictions in mobility has prevented people from stepping out of their houses. On the other hand, various places in India witnessed huge crowds in long queues post the recent opening of liquor shops, flouting all forms of social distance norms.
The hardships encountered during the national lockdown were disproportionate; mainly because the war against Covid 19 is still at a nascent stage. Hence, precautionary measures blended with some normalcy in life can be the way forward to control the spread of Covid, with more flexibility, understanding and awareness.
Four simple steps which can help empower people take precautionary measures in fighting Covid 19.
Sharing Knowledge – Right information sharing is the key towards containing the spread of the virus. Correct information sharing will help people deal with unnecessary fear about Covid. The recent situation in Dharavi shows that a more systematic approach towards awareness building is required. Awareness programs by MLAs, RWAs and health workers around basic hygiene measures are the need of the hour through right information sharing. People in India fear the concept of self isolation too; awareness building and mental health counseling is equally important to build required positive perception in people.
Strengthening community based interactions– With India’s high density population, urban clusters and socio-economic characteristics; community forms the core for controlling the spread of Covid 19 at National Level. Many tech start-ups have joined the government efforts, by introducing apps which encourage community interactions. ‘Make in India’ apps like Simply Local are empowering people to communicate and help each other during the Covid 19 situation. It is trying to bridge the communication gap taking place due to social distancing. Such apps can act as a weapon in helping government, by effectively connecting citizens with local leadership- police, councilors, welfare associations, and NGOs or anyone with a stake in the welfare of society.
Taking the digital route– With low cost smart phone and internet penetration, Covid 19 could possibly help in speeding up digital transformation in India. On the click of a button, people can identify Covid hit zones; which not only help them in staying updated but can act as a support system in helping them travel smartly during the crisis situation. Payments should be done through digital channels, essential and medical services can be placed through online platforms, even consultation with doctors on issues other than Covid 19 is provided through online platforms. People can truly be ‘Amta Nirbhar’ when they make full use of these digital tools.
Balanced approach towards testings– People in India should not refrain from testing if they show Covid 19 symptoms. A person appearing asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic can be responsible for transmission of the virus to others. A cluster based approach towards testing can also prove effective as people residing in alert zones are more prone to contracting and spreading the disease. While government is doing its best in testing protocols, every individual should be honest enough to undergo the testing procedure in case of any symptom.
There have been constant efforts by various companies and medical, tech based start-ups to help people during the Covid 19 lockdown. Till the time vaccination or medicine is developed, precautionary measures can bring back the country from the brink of a disaster.
( The author is CEO at Simply Local. The next generation network app for communities to connect with each other)
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.