Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Aug 5 (ANI): With a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Kerala government is attempting to put the scope of social media to good use, by leveraging its potential including starting WhatsApp group to contain a possible community spread.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja launched the initiative in Kottayam district via video conference for the first time in the state here on Wednesday.
As part of it, WhatsApp groups have been started in the district involving about 9,000 people who are being monitored for COVID-19. Whatsapp groups have health care professionals including doctors and psychiatrists to address the problems of the group members.
"Local body level groups are coordinated by the local health inspectors. In addition to the admin, the group also includes a medical officer, a teacher, and a professional social worker at a local government hospital," said Health Minister.
"The first step in reaching out to people through awareness videos that illustrate situations that can spread the disease to others through contact with those living in the quarantine at home," she said.
Plans are afoot to come up with similar groups in other districts after evaluating the success of pilot run in Kottayam.
"The main objective of the campaign is to eliminate all possibilities of transmitting COVID-19 from the sick to others in the home and to avoid boredom and stress to those living in the quarantine. The event is being organized by the District Administration, Health Department, Arogya Keralam and Information and Public Relations Department," the minister said.
District level groups have been created to coordinate among local groups.
As many as 1,195 new COVID-19 positive cases and 971 recoveries have been reported in Kerala today, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The number of active cases now in the state is at 11,167 and 7 new deaths have been reported, he added. (ANI)