As the number of COVID cases is on the rise, the Government of Kerala is looking at ways to leverage social media to manage the pandemic and contain a possible community spread. A new initiative was launched in Kottayam district yesterday (via video conference) by Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, which has led to the creation of WhatsApp groups for people who are being monitored for Covid-19. At present, these WhatsApp groups contain around 9000 people including doctors and psychiatrists to address problems faced by people who are in quarantine.
In the video conference, Shailaja teacher said that the local body level groups will be coordinated by local health inspectors, and will include a medical officer, a teacher, and a professional social worker from the local Government hospital. She mentioned that the main objective of the groups is to eliminate the possibility of transmission from the sick to the others at home and to help alleviate stress and boredom to those who are living in quarantine. She also said that the first step is to reach out to people using awareness videos that illustrate how the virus can transmit via contact to people living in the same house as someone who has been quarantined. District level groups have been created to coordinate with local groups.
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This initiative is being organized by the District Administration, Health Department, Arogya Keralam, and Information and Public Relations Department. After evaluating the success of the pilot being run in Kottayam, similar groups will be started in other districts of the State.
As of today, there are 29,151 positive cases reported in Kerala. 17, 537 have recovered, whereas, 94 deaths have been confirmed. In other news, in order to spread more awareness, Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan announced a change in the way they are going to demarcate containment zones. From now on, containment zones will be defined post tracing the primary and secondary contacts of a positive person, making it highly localized and more efficient for officials to document.
Featured Image: Decaan Harald