Bust virus myths via ‘Chai and Why?’

TIFR will interact with people to give them scientific knowledge about Covid-19

Bust virus myths via ‘Chai and Why?’

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 1

Along with the deadly Covid-19 pandemic there is also this whole lot of dangerous misinformation, stigma, superstitions and fear about the disease among the people. A challenge also is how to make sense of the extreme measures people are currently undergoing — isolation, quarantine and lockdown.

To dispel myths and provide a basic scientific understanding of the measure behind the pandemic, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has come out with a package of “engaging communication materials”. The resource material will also be released in Gujarati, Punjabi, Haryanvi and Assamese soon.

Via its public outreach initiative titled ‘Chai and Why?’ scientists will interact with people through social media to debunk misinformation and explain the science behind the virus, said the Department of Science and Technology.

The DST said the TIFR was also trying to make masks by home picked material. For this posters and videos will be released soon. Notably, marking a major shift in strategy from the existing rules on masks, a guidance issued by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister yesterday said “once 80 percent of population wears masks outbreak of coronavirus can be stopped immediately.”

The idea is to help disseminate information and debunk various myths with information in easy to understand format and in regional language for wider reach “We have launched in nine languages English, Hindi, Bengali, Konkani, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil and Telugu through volunteering efforts by faculties, families and students” said Prof Arnab Bhattacharya of the TIFR. The information has been provided in easy to understand format and in regional language so that it can reach to wider audiences.

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