Misinformation to Awareness; Dr Rahul’ strategy worked well to wipe half-truths about covid 19, vaccination

POONCH: Since COVID 19 began to spread across the UT and in District Poonch, Dr Rahul was given the responsibility as the Nodal officer Health in COVID-19 Control Room Poonch.
Dr Rahul’s strategy to stop the spread through motivation and counselling worked well to wipe half-truths about covid19 and vaccination. The major challenge was the people discrediting the threat of COVID-19 and believing in conspiracy theories about the covid vaccine.
“I joined as a Nodal officer in COVID-19 Control Room in March 2020 and it has been a challenging yet an inspiring year for me”, Dr Rahul added.
Dr Rahul has been involved in various tasks related to COVID-19 pandemic mitigations, including maintenance and analysis of covid- 19 data related to testing, Quarantine, Home Isolation, Hospitalization, referral and vaccination.
“I and Chief Medical officer Poonch, Dr Ghulam visited many far flung areas of the district like Loran, Mandi, Saabzian, Bafliaz, Surankote etc and distributed covid kits and created awareness among the general public. After providing covid gears, appealed to the general public to follow the SOPs and assured that we will win the fight against the pandemic” elaborated Dr Rahul.
While expressing gratitude to Chief Medical Officer Poonch, for his tenable support, Dr Rahul said “Our teams are working with sustained zeal and dedication and are optimistic to defeat this deadly pandemic soon.”
He further told that the biggest Challenge during the time was the introduction of Covid-19 vaccination because it involved not only data based work but working with people to allay misinformation regarding it.
“People in the villages are not that literate. They easily get swayed by the rumours. They were and are still hesitant to take vaccine and reluctant to follow Covid19 SOPs. I took a great deal to counsel them and sensitise them regarding the benefits of following Covid19 SOPs and administering vaccination. I visited door to door to allay the fears”, Dr Rahul added while expressing dismay over rumour mongers who spread misinformation regarding vaccination and Covid SOPs.
District Poonch has achieved vaccination of 98% people in the 45+ year category. Now due attention is given towards vaccinating the people above 18 year old and their vaccinations are in full pace. The average testing rate is between 2000 to 2500 tests per day and significantly helps in curtailing the spread of virus in the District. Due to excessive testing and tracking the positivity rate has come down to 0.4% in the district.
“Amidst the second surge, the three T strategy i.e. “Test Track and Treat” was effectively implemented in the district and it proved helpful in containing the spread of virus and improving the recovery rate, which is at present more than 98%. Besides, the death rate is less than 1.5%.” Dr Rahul added.
Dr Rahul along with the CMO frequently visited the far flung areas including the border belt and the mountainous terrain of the district to check the progress of vaccination drive and remove the misconception among the people regarding vaccination and Covid19 SOPs.
He also gave full credit to block wise awareness launched through the Information Education Communication (IEC) campaign to sensitize the common masses about the Covid-19 appropriate behavior across the District.”
He said, “The campaign included distribution of pamphlets containing details about dos’ a don’ts to stay safe.”
“Indeed, this has been a challenging time. The administration provided all the necessary support and necessary logistics which made it possible for me to discharge my duties with utmost sincerity and dedication. I would like to thank the administration for having faith in me and assigning such a mountainous task which I could perform as per my abilities” Dr Rahul said while concluding.


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