Centre issues Covid-19 advisory to private TV channels, asks them to spread awareness
The Centre on Sunday issued an advisory for private television channel, asking them to help the government spread awareness about the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic by displaying four national level helpline numbers. The government said it wants to create awareness about three things - Covid treatment protocol, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination.
In the advisory, the central government noted that though the number of daily Covid-19 cases are witnessing a downward trend, it is still high.
"Over the last several months, the government has created awareness through various instrumentalities and media platforms, including print, TV, radio, social media, etc for creating awareness. National helpline numbers for the benefit of the citizens were also created and propagated by the government," the government advisory said.
"In order to further this cause, the private TV channels are advised to promote awareness of the following four national level helpline numbers by way of a ticker or such appropriate ways as they may consider at periodical intervals, especially during prime time," it further added.
The four helpline numbers given by the government are: 1075 (National Helpline no. of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), 1098 (Child Helpline No. of the Ministry of Women and Child Development), (14567 Senior Citizens Helpline of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) and 08046110007 (Helpline No. of NIMHANS for psychological support).
In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an interaction with the electronic media where he asked television channels to spread scientific reports, involve informed people in their discussions and counter the spread of misinformation and highlight the importance of social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Even greater caution, zero carelessness. Urged electronic media to counter misinformation related to COVID-19, which is creating panic. Also urged them to take relevant precautions in their own organisations especially when their team members do on ground reporting,” he said in a tweet posted after the meeting.
He thanked the media for understanding the gravity of the pandemic threat and appreciated the role played by the channels in spreading awareness.
Stopping the spread of misinformation around Covid-19 and debunking the myths around it have been the priorities of the central government. It fights these with through the Twitter handle @PIBFactCheck.