Misinformation biggest challenge besides corona: Health Minister

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    New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said one of the biggest challenges he was facing apart from fighting coronavirus was fighting against misinformation.

    Addressing a global online conference over coronavirus, Harsh Vardhan said “One of my biggest challenges these days, apart from fighting COVID-19, is fighting with misinformation. So many things keep floating on social media. No one even thinks before putting out a tweet or a news item without confirming and checking it with a reliable source.”
    “I can say with utmost confidence and conviction that anyone who wants authentic information, should visit the website of the Health Ministry. The website of the Health Ministry has thoroughly comprehensive, complete and updated information. We are receiving 22 crore hits everyday. It is updated twice a day. Giving correct information is as important as taking care of the COVID patients.”
    The Health Minister also said that he was very upset with people who misbehave and target the healthcare workers. He said that such people should be named and shamed and the society should take a stand for the medical professionals.
    “I would like to thank all corona warriors leading from the front. They face risk of getting infected. They are putting their heart and soul into ensuring the success in the battle against coronavirus. But cases appear here and there where doctors and the other health professionals are being insulted or ostracised or humiliated in the society. We have to name and shame such people. As a society we should stand with the medical professionals and ensure that such incidents don’t happen,” he said.
    Harsh Vardhan also said that there are 30 manufacturers in India who are going to provide PPEs. “By next week we shall be having 10 lakh PPEs we will be able to give ample numbers of PPEs to the people, especially medical professionals,” he said, adding “We have ordered 30,000 more ventilators. Very few cases require ventilators. We are prepared for the worst case scenario which I personally feel, will not come. We have made enough arrangements for oxygen cylinders, beds, and ventilators and specific drugs also. Work on the scientific front is also going on like research on vaccine and drugs.”
    The Health Minister said India is putting its best foot forward in fighting against coronavirus.
    “We are in constant touch with the World Health Organisation. I have attended conferences with health ministers of the world and region and the WHO has on record appreciated the actions and initiatives taken by the Indian government. They are also confident that India should do well.”