Chandigarh, Sep 4 (IANS) Covid-19 patients in home isolation in Punjab will no longer have to suffer the fear and stigma of social isolation resulting from posters affixed at the entrance of their homes.
In a major step towards mitigating the stigma attached to the pandemic, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday rescinded his government’s earlier decision of putting posters outside the houses of Covid patients under home isolation or quarantine.
Posters where already affixed should be removed, he directed.
The move is aimed at minimising the stigma resulting from the affixing of such posters at the front doors of such patients, thus also negating the fear of testing, said the Chief Minister, once again appealing to the people to come out for early testing, diagnosis and treatment of Covid.
The psychological trauma which patients were seen suffering as a result of these posters, which were meant to protect neighbours and others, was defeating the very purpose, Singh said, adding that these posters were actually found to be scaring people away from testing.
The undesirable and unintended consequences of these posters included social isolation and stigma, leading to anxiety and prejudice against the patients.
People were refraining from getting tested to avoid this stigma instead of extending support to the patients and their families, which had prompted a rethink on the decision of affixing posters, said the Chief Minister.
Singh urged the people to continue taking all necessary precautions and follow all applicable guidelines for home isolation and quarantine notwithstanding the removal of the posters.
Violation of these guidelines is a punishable offence under the Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Diseases Act and the Indian Penal Code, he pointed out.