Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday stressed on the importance of preventing an infodemic and sharing only authentic and verified information on COVID-19, and urged doctors to educate the public on various aspects of the disease and its prevention and management.
While it is important to be on the alert and follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour including wearing of masks, it is equally important to prevent an infodemic and share only authentic and verified information on the disease, he said during a virtual interaction about 100 doctors and members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) from across the country.
"The Union Ministry of Health has been sharing information on various aspects of Covid prevention and management. I urge everyone to access and share only verified information and encourage others to also do so," he said. He urged the doctors to continue to spread authentic information about COVID- 19, according to a health ministry statement.
"You have been our ambassadors during the country's fight against Covid. I value your contribution and salute the selfless dedication and service of the healthcare professionals. I urge you to be our partners and ambassadors to prevent an infodemic by educating the public on various aspects of the disease and its prevention and management aspects," he said.
The minister expressed confidence that doctors would continue to work dedicatedly in this fight as they have been doing till now, the statement said. Mandaviya urged them to refrain from making speculations and only share accurate information with the public.
"Our citizens look up to our Covid warriors for advice and due to recent increase in COVID-19 cases globally, it becomes the responsibility of our experts to share correct information so that rumours, misconceptions and in turn, fears can be prevented," he said. He emphasized on mitigating even the slightest sense of panic in citizens by making them aware about current status of COVID-19 data, the vaccination programme and government efforts, the statement said.
He cautioned against complacency. He appealed for following the policy of 'test-track-treat-vaccinate and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour' and uptake of precaution doses for the vulnerable groups. "Only this way we will be able to preserve the gains made so far through continued collective efforts," he stressed.
Doctors and experts who have remained at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 since its occurrence appreciated timely meetings being chaired by the prime minister and the health minister and agreed to contribute in the collective fight against COVID-19, the statement said.