COVID-19: Kerala steps up awareness drive to add momentum to containment plans

Faced with the prospect of more restrictions being lifted with Unlock 1.0 kicking in at pan-India level, Kerala is pulling out all the stops to contain COVID-19 by ramping up its public awareness programmes to ensure compliance to health protocols such as social distancing, wearing of masks and community hygiene.

In taking forward the containment strategy, the Department of Health and Family Welfare has factored in critical factors such as the onset of south-west monsoon, spurt in arrivals from abroad and other states and recent uptick in positive cases of COVID-19.

The co-operation of all departments has been enlisted in mounting a renewed assault on the pandemic with the support and active participation of people and untiring efforts of grassroots- level functionaries.

The government has taken elaborate arrangements and all departments, including Department of Health and Family Welfare, have been making all out efforts to contain spread of COVID-19.

The grassroots-level support has been especially crucial for ensuring the success of Break-the-Chain campaign and spreading the message of personal hygiene such as use of soap and water to wash hands  frequently, wearing of mask, and diligently observing quarantine and room isolation norms.

Special care has been provided for people with co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension. Around two lakh people, who were vulnerable to acquiring the infection, were put on palliative care. Similarly, around 50 lakh elderly people in the state were given special attention and care.

While the need to take collective action to prevent and spread of the disease is vital, it is equally important to follow health advisories such as maintaining hand hygiene, wearing mask and social distancing.

Well ahead of the arrival of monsoon, the government had cranked up its public health machinery to cope with the seasonal incidence of communicable diseases, without slackening the COVID-19 containment efforts.

Apart from equipping the vast network of government hospitals down to the primary health centres with medicines and human resources, public contact and disease surveillance programmes have also been ramped up for early recognition and mitigation efforts.

As part of this, ground-level support has been mobilised for activities such as mosquito control to reduce the seasonal load of infections such as dengue, leptospirosis and water-borne diseases.

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