– Mita Mukherjee
With Covid-19 cases rising sharply in the country, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked heads of all universities and colleges to adopt a five-fold strategy focusing on testing, tracing, treatment, Covid- appropriate behavior and vaccination to curb transmission of the virus.
In a fresh advisory to institutions of higher education, UGC secretary Rajnish Jain has asked vice-chancellors of all universities and principals of all colleges to direct their teachers, staff and students to spread awareness about the disease in order to deal with the present situation.
Some of the dos and don’ts which the institutions have been asked to emphasize during the campaign include: “Always cover mouth with mask, Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap & water or use alcohol-based sanitizer, Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth, Get vaccinated, Maintain Social Distancing, Avoid Large Gatherings.“
The advisory also states that people need to know that if anybody shows signs and symptoms of the disease such as cough, fever or has difficulty in breathing should call national toll-free helpline (1075) or state helpline numbers for queries.
Messages about Covid appropriate behavior can be also tweeted with #Unite2FightCorona.
In an advisory issued to all institutions on April 9, the UGC had said: “It is a cause of great worry that we are confronted with rising upward cases of Covis-19 throughout the country and to address this emerging crisis, it has been decided to focus on the five-fold strategy to deal with the situation viz, Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Covid appropriate behavior and Vaccination.”
A fresh advisory issued to university vice-chancellors and college principals on April 12 reminded the institutions that they are expected to play a lead role in spreading awareness about the disease with renewed emphasis: “ It is once again reiterated that HEIs (higher education institutions) are expected to play a lead role in spreading awareness with renewed emphasis on Safai Bhi, Dawai Bhi, Kadai Bhi by adopting a five-fold strategy to deal with the situation viz. Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Covid appropriate behavior and Vaccination.”
The institutions have been asked to spread the awareness through their websites as well as through print, electronic and social media.
According to Union health ministry and family welfare data India reported more than 168,000 new cases over a 24-hour period on Monday.
There is a lack of commitment among a large section of people in the country in wearing masks and maintaining social distancing which is mainly responsible for the surge in number of Covid-19 cases.
The UGC through its advisory has not only asked students, teachers and staff members of universities and colleges to follow the Covid-19 protocols but also sought their support to ensure that they were followed by others, the principal of a college said.National, News