Amaravati, Oct 9 (PTI): Coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh have been on a declining trend over the past couple of weeks but the state government has decided to step up Information, Education and Communication activities to inculcate Covid-Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) among people as 'we have to live with the virus for a year or more'.
The state government has also decided to continue the behavioural change communication strategy to make the communities more resilient for any future epidemic, according to Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney.
Besides, immunity-boosting activities like yoga and meditation would also be promoted.
In an official order here on Friday, the Chief Secretary listed out a set of activities to be undertaken to promote CAB to contain and control the infection.
'The Risk Communication and Community Engagement strategy needs to be further strengthened, continued and scaled up,' Sawhney said.
Intensive measures, including multiple lock downs, enabled the state reach a stage where the number of (COVID-19) cases declined on a day-to-day basis.
'But we have to live with the virus for a year or more.
Hence there is a need to inculcate CAB like wearing of (facial) mask, maintaining physical distancing and frequent hand washing as the new normal to keep the virus away,' the Chief Secretary added.
As most of the economic activity has been opened up, CAB must be reinforced at every given opportunity, she stressed.
All shops have been mandated to display posters on CAB.
Under the RCCE strategy, 1.06 crore households in the state have been covered in one round so far and another house-to-house campaign would be taken up every month until the pandemic is over.
The Chief Secretary said the Department of Ayush would take the lead in organising yoga and meditation classes in all villages and (urban) wards as part of immunity-boosting measures.
'COVID-19 has brought out many doubts and fears among the citizens and it is important to educate them with correct information.
Building trust, reducing fear and stigma and providing psycho-social support are the critical elements to address the stigma,' Sawhney said.
The Chief Secretary said there were around 77 lakh Arogya Setu mobile application users in the state now as against the estimated 1.3 crore smart phone users.
She directed the Village and Ward Secretariats Department to sensitise people on the Arogya Setu App and facilitate its downloading through the volunteers network. PTI DBV APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH