To curb the spread of COVID-19 infection during the forthcoming festive season, enabling people to protect themselves and others from the virus, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti, has launched a campaign that will be implemented from October to December 2020.
In a communique to States, DDWS has listed several activities that can be carried out during the period leading to the various festivals and the onset of winter. It has also provided various creatives that can be used in social media and wall paintings to promote hygiene and safe sanitation.
The months of October to December feature festivals that witness large gatherings, processions, and rallies either at religious places or fairs, exhibitions, or at cultural functions. It is important for the certain preventive measures to be followed at such events. This awareness campaign aims to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to prevent spread of the infection among its communities.
While the role of the State Governments in handling the COVID-19 situation has been commendable, a fresh, intensive, and sustained communication campaign is needed across the country during this festive season, the DDWS notification said.
Secretary, DDWS on 9th October administered a pledge among its officials, which committed them to be vigilant, and bear in mind always, the COVID-19 risk to themselves and their colleagues. They promised to take all necessary precautions that prevent the spread of the deadly virus and to follow and encourage others to follow the key COVID-19 appropriate behaviours. These include: wearing a mask / face cover, especially when in public places; maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet from others; washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water – all of this to together win the fight against COVID-19.
DDWS in convergence with the State Governments has planned to carry out the following campaigns from October to December 2020:
- Create wall paintings with message on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour in prominent public places of villages, using the creatives provided by DDWS.
- Organise Gram Sabhas in all Gram Panchayats while following physical distancing norms to create awareness on adopting COVID-19 appropriate behaviours.
- Run intensive social media campaigns using creatives shared by DDWS
- Handwashing and hygiene promotion to be an integral activity of the IEC campaign
- Observe 15th October 2020 as Global Handwashing Day.