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Amplify govt message on Covid-19, hold daily briefings at district level: Centre tells states

The order sent by Amit Khare, secretary Information and Broadcasting, asked states to organise daily briefings on Covid-19 at district level.
By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 11, 2021 10:58 PM IST
File photo of information and broadcasting secretary Amit Khare.

The Centre on Tuesday sent a directive to states and union territories to organise daily briefings on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation at the district level. The decision was taken during a review meeting on public health response to Covid-19 to check the misinformation around it.

The order has been sent to chief secretaries of the state by secretary, information and broadcasting Amit Khare, who also heads the empowered group working on communication.

"Since timely dissemination of correct information acts as a check on spread of misinformation and rumours/fake news, you may like to suitably advise the district collectors and senior officers of district administration in your state/UT to hold daily press briefings," the order said.

It further said that the briefings will highlight "salient initiatives taken by the government and civil society/individuals".

"This is crucial at this stage as the pandemic has spread its wings in the rural areas and correct information about the guidelines issued and steps taken by the government should reach the local people from trustworthy sources," the order said.

The Centre's directive highlighted the regular briefings held by the ministry of information & broadcasting, which it said help in disseminating facts and latest information about the various aspects of the pandemic before the people.

In another order, Khare also asked the chief secretaries to intensify awareness drive on Covid-19 with a focus on vaccination.

He also said that various ministries of central government - like AYUSH, health, home and panchayati raj - have issued various advisories and guidelines in the wake of second wave of Covid-19. The order said that the messages and advisories need to be amplified to reach the last mile.

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