‘Unlocking: With Precautions’ drive ready for rollout ahead of upcoming festive season

ET learns that the Cabinet Secretary had convened a meeting with secretaries of over 20 stakeholder ministries, Niti Aayog and ICMR officials on September 30 followed by another meeting with all state chief secretaries on October 1 on launching th...

PTI
New Delhi: The Centre is set to launch a nationwide campaign on ‘Unlocking: With Precautions’ and ‘COVID appropriate behaviour’ under Unlock 5.0 even as Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla held discussions with the chief secretaries of states and Union Territories on Tuesday to launch a nationwide awareness campaign on maintaining social distancing and wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19, ahead of the upcoming festive season.

The meeting was attended by officials from the information and broadcasting ministry, National Disaster Management Authority and central armed police forces, and the central forces were told to manage crowds and gear up for any medical emergencies.

ET learns that the Cabinet Secretary had convened a meeting with secretaries of over 20 stakeholder ministries, Niti Aayog and ICMR officials on September 30 followed by another meeting with all state chief secretaries on October 1 on launching the campaign on ‘Unlocking: With Precautions’.


The Centre’s messaging will focus on the right way of wearing masks, washing hands and following social distancing. Centrally developed slogans will be sent to states to ensure consistency in the messaging campaign which will involve Central and state governmental machinery from October through November.

“Since economic activities are being reopened, due precaution needs to be taken as the threat from pandemic is still not over. Unlock 5 guidelines will remain applicable till October 31. The focus of the campaign will be wearing masks, social distancing and personal hygiene,” said a senior home ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.

All state chief secretaries have been asked to develop a specific action plan for the campaign and submit it within a week, identify target groups with actionable and monitor-able targets, take weekly reviews and appoint a nodal officer to update the Central government via the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on every Tuesday of the week.
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Secretaries to stakeholder ministries have been tasked with various campaign plans. While the agriculture ministry will ensure Covid messaging at APMCs, seeds shops and through farmer Producer Associations, the WCD ministry will focus on anganwadi centres. The Education ministry will message students and teachers and the home ministry will target the network of police stations while Railways will use its ticketing and train network for the same.

Use of Arogya Setu, ‘Open API’ feature for employers among various ministries, increased Covid testing and AYUSH based immunity measures have been advocated. Banners are set to come up across block and tehsil offices, panchayat bhawans, police stations besides milk booths, fertiliser and seed shops, PDS and chemists shops.

Front line workers like teachers, anganwadis, ASHA workers and Panchayat Sewaks will be involved in the campaign alongside NGO workers, social media influencers and religious leaders. YouTube services are likely to be used for the purpose.
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