Addressing Social Stigma Associated with COVID-19
Public health emergencies during outbreak of communicable diseases may cause fear and anxiety leading to prejudices against people and communities, social isolation and stigma. Such behavior may culminate into increased hostility, chaos and unnecessary social disruptions. Cases have been reported of people affected with COVID-19 as well as healthcare workers, sanitary workers and police, who are in the frontline for management of the outbreak, facing discrimination on account of heightened fear and misinformation about infection. Even those who have recovered from COVID-19 face such discrimination. Further, certain communities and areas are being labeled purely based on false reports floating in social media and elsewhere. There is an urgent need to counter such prejudices and to rise as a community that is empowered with health literacy and responds appropriately in the face of this adversity.