Centre warns against disclosing identities of Covid-19 patients
The central government in an advisory on Wednesday said that those affected by coronavirus or under quarantine, should not be identified.
“Never spread names or identity of those affected or under quarantine or their locality on the social media. Avoid spreading fear and panic. Do not target healthcare and sanitary workers or police. They are there to help you,” it said.
“Do not label any community or area for spread of COVID-19. Avoid addressing those under treatment as COVID victims. Address them as ‘people recovering from COVID’,” the advisory added.
The advisory comes following a spike in coronavirus cases after a Tablighi Jamaat meet at the group’s headquarters in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month that led to instances of people taking to social media social media to blaming the Muslim community for the spread if disease.
It said cases have been reported of people affected with Covid-19 as well as healthcare workers, sanitary workers and police, who are in the frontline for management of the outbreak, facing discrimination on account of heightened fear and misinformation about the infection and that there is a need to counter such prejudices.
Last week, the Odisha government broke its own norms of not revealing the identity of coronavirus patients as it named the fifth person in the state who tested positive.
The one-off announcement was made over fears that the patient who is mentally challenged might have triggered community transmission of Covid-19.
The revelation of the identity of the patient has come at a time when the Odisha government has lodged cases against people for trying to reveal the identity of infected persons.
In Bhadrak district last week, police arrested 3 persons for revealing the identity of a 29-year-old chef working in Dubai who tested positive on March 31.