Meghalaya News 24 exclusive
Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma said the state government has failed to convince the citizens on the importance of getting vaccinated against the COVID-19.
He said ever since the pandemic started last year, the opposition has been insisted upon consistent engagement and continuous process of aggressive information dissemination to ensure people understand and share the knowledge of how to prepare a war agains the virus.
According to him, despite this what was happening, they were circulating important notification from the Secretariat to the Deputy Commissioners to the officials and nothing else.
“I had to ask myself to get the copies of the notifications. What about the general people, headmen, social organizations and their leaders, nothing was made available…what we would see is some lines in the chief minister’s social media page, that is the reality…so many cases, so many recoveries, so many deaths that is the information available nothing else – whenever there is modification of the protocols and SOPs we dont even know,” he said.
“When the government decided the gap between the first and second dose of the vaccine, the interval is being increased what for, what is the scientific interpretation do we know? No, we have not been told. Is it based on scientific interpretation? No.
So this is the reason people have doubts on the messages circulating so people are influences by many of the negative narratives whether it is in respect of vaccination and their likely side effects,” he added.
Further, the former chief minister also suggested the need for the state government to embark upon a continuous process of engagement towards testimonies by involving many people not just politicians.
“Let some people be engaged like people who will give their testimony, what happened when they came forward and got themselves tested, what happened when they tested positive, how they have recovered, what is the kind of support received from the medical fraternity – all these things are important so that people,” he said.
He continued, “I tried to find out why people are hesitant to get themselves tested when they have suspected symptoms of having infected by Covid-19, now they say once we tested positive, we will be taken to hospital. Some people don’t want to go to the hospitals due to wrong perception which is again because of the circulation of negative narratives.
Another thing…they don’t want to be segregated from their family members – that is human psychology – how to deal with those you have to have continuous engagement because we are dealing with humans.”
Stating that there is need to convince people to get vaccinated, Sangma however said, “If you cannot convince by just embarking upon one methodology amplify it aggregate number of strategies try to convince you cannot force. If you are forcing that means you have failed to convince if you fail to convince as an authority it is your failure so one has to understand the responsibility of engaging with our people that is also a responsibility not by forcing.”