TIFR to Spread COVID-19 Awareness 
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TIFR to Spread COVID-19 Awareness

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China has now spread in the whole world. The current count states that it has spread to 204 countries and is declared as a pandemic by WHO.

The stigma, superstitions as well as fear regarding the disease comes along with the pandemic.

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The main challenge is exactly how to make sense of severe measures such as isolation, quarantine and also lock-down. Why must we practice social distancing?

Tata Institute of Fundamental Study (TIFR) came up with a plan of engaging and illuminating communication materials to eliminate the myths and also provide a fundamental scientific understanding of the public health actions behind the pandemic.

Some multi-lingual youtube videos were developed by the researchers. The video discusses why social distancing is essential for tackling viral outbreaks like COVID-19. The videos are based on the article published in Washington Post by Harry Stevens.

Prof Arnab Bhattacharya, Scientist, TIFR said, “The video is released in 9 languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Odia, and Konkani by the efforts of faculties, family members and students”. The video will be released in more languages including Haryanvi, Gujarati, Assamese, and Punjabi.

The idea is to help circulate information and expose various misconceptions that are spreading around.

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To make sure the information reaches a wider audience, the info has been offered in an understandable form and in the local language. Dr. Bhattacharya stated, “The infection has emerged in China, but we have to explain about it to our populace in the regional language, for which this vernacular material is much needed. We hope that this idea by TIFR can be effective in spreading COVID-19 awareness.

The team is attempting to make masks from some home picked materials as their next action. Videos and posters for this will be coming soon.

The initiative by TIFR for public outreach is titled ‘Chai and Why?’ a program where researchers engage with the public through social media to expose misinformation and explain the science behind the infection.

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Author: Sruthi S

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