COVID-19 cases has been rising across the country and Jharkhand too is facing a second wave of infection. Of all active cases which are 12,293 as of 12 April, more than 50% are from Ranchi. 

Being the hub for social, economic, and educational activities, Ranchi is more vulnerable to spread of infection. With the relaxation in lockdown norms and resumption of economic activities, people are coming out of houses and spending more time in public places. 

Practice of three key behaviours - handwashing with soap, proper wearing of mask or face cover and maintaining 6 feet distance with others is key to preventing spread of COVID-19. 

Infact, at times these behaviours can be the only shield between the COVID-19 virus and you. Government and other partners are consistently promoting COVID appropriate behaviours. Despite these importance and consistent communication by government and other agencies, it has been observed that many people are not following Covid Appropriate Behaviours. 

To address this situation, District Administration, Ranchi, UNICEF Jharkhand, five local NGOs, and National Health Mission have come together to launch an 18 days intensive community  information campaign in urban areas of Ranchi from April 12 to 30. 

Under the campaign, volunteers from NGOs will inform people gathered at crowded public places and motivate them to wear mask properly and follow other covid appropriate behaviours. During the campaign NGOs will provide low cost cloth mask to people who cannot afford it at various places. Audio messages will be played through audio vans to inform people and spread awareness.

The campaign was inaugurated  by Mr. Chhavi Ranjan, Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi. On this occasion Mr. Ranjan said, “We need to diligently follow Covid Appropriate Behaviours such as proper wearing of  mask which should cover our nose and mouth, wash our hands with soap and maintain 6 feet distance to prevent the spread of Covid infection. 

However, it has been observed that many people are not following these behaviours specially not wearing mask properly which is putting them and others in danger. I urge everyone to remind your neighbours, friends and your family members to follow safe and hygiene behaviour. Only if all of us follow the guidelines issued by the Government, will we be able to win this battle.”

To implement this campaign, District administration, Ranchi, UNICEF and NGOs have come together to inform people at identified crowded places of Ranchi. 

Prasanta Dash, CFO, UNICEF Jharkhand said, “We are in an extraordinary situation where even a little bit of carelessness can cost us lives. We need to exercise caution. The Government has started this campaign with support of UNICEF and NGO partners and young volunteers so that everyone is reminded to follow safe behaviour and wear masks.

At this time, it is advisable to avoid crowded places. I urge everyone who is 45 years and above to register for the COVID-19 vaccine and also to follow COVID appropriate behaviour. Only with support of community, can we be successful in curbing the spread of the virus.”

“District Administration has also issued a special appeal and guidance for shopkeepers to follow Covid Appropriate Behaviours and government lockdown guidelines.  With the motivated team of volunteers, I am sure we will be able pursue people and contain spread of Covid-19 in Ranchi,” added Mr. Ranjan.

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