Srinagar: Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta Saturday chaired a meeting to oversee the preparation of action plan for the rollout of a dedicated IEC campaign to generate awareness among the masses to prevent the subsequent waves of COVID pandemic in Jammu and Kashmir.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Health & Medical Education, Information, Higher Education, School Education, Youth Services & Sports, besides Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), and Director Information participated in the meeting.
The Chief Secretary appealed to the general public to observe strict discipline and COVID appropriate behavior while visiting public places to keep themselves safe from the infection while asking the violators to follow the SOPs too. “Resurgence of COVID can be prevented in J&K if the citizens take upon themselves to abide by the laid down healthy practices during social interactions and taking vaccination at an earliest”, he added.
It was decided that an extensive IEC campaign will be rolled out directly to reach approximately 80 lakh population of Jammu and Kashmir. The campaign will aim at generating awareness on COVID containment and promoting COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) to prevent further spread of infection.
The Chief Secretary asked the Information Department to formulate the IEC campaign focusing on mass awareness about the good practices, CAB, and Dos & Don’ts in public places; in consultation with Health & Medical Higher Education Department, School Education Department, Youth Services & Sports Departments, and banks. The Departments were asked to display such information at all prominent places, markets, public spaces, besides giving them wider publicity through mass media-print, social media, television, radio, and advertising.
About 50 lakh people will be reached through bulk text messages after utilizing the database of banks operating in J&K, in addition to voice-messages on improving public health through caller tones. Additionally, all Government websites and offices, banks and ATMs will be required to display informative hoardings and banners.
The departments of Higher Education, School Education and Youth Services & Sports were asked to coordinate and roll out similar campaigns to reach out to approximately 25 lakh students and their families with the message of responsible citizenry towards successful containment of the pandemic in the Union territory. They were asked to dedicatedly spread this message through the student associations of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), Nation Service Scheme (NSS) and Bharat Scouts and Guides, besides including knowledge on COVID appropriate behavior, a part of the curriculum of ongoing online classes.
Further, awareness will be generated on CAB and importance of vaccinations among four Lakh Government employees linked through CPIS/GPF platforms.
On implementation of the COVID SOPs, the Chief Secretary directed the enforcement agencies to adopt a graded-penalty mechanism to penalize repetitive defaulters and offenders. It was directed that H&ME Department and district administrations in collaboration with various market associations, trade associations, and employee associations implement the graded-penalty mechanism by taking collective action against the delinquents.
To further strengthen the CAB surveillance and SOP enforcement, it was decided that services of Home Guards and teachers who are not associated with online classes will also be utilized.
It was also decided that in recognition of citizens’ efforts at raising awareness and support to proper enforcement of COVID appropriate behavior and healthy habits, district-level awards for ‘citizen of the week’ and ‘COVID champion of the month’ will be instituted.