Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee Helped In Corona Awareness In West Bengal, How?
When there was a deluge of coronavirus related messages on social media in the early months of the pandemic, a video message recorded in early May, by a Nobel Prize-winning economist of Indian origin was also exhorting millions of people living in the country’s villages to take precautions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Keep away from crowds, maintain social distancing when meeting people. Don’t spit in public. If you are coughing or sneezing use your elbow or cloth or towel,” says professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Abhijit Banerjee in the video, said a BBC report by its India correspondent Soutik Biswas. Dr Banerjee won the Nobel prize last year
“If you have a cough and fever it doesn’t mean you have the infection. But report your symptoms to frontline health workers. We will win this battle but it will take time,” the voice says.
Prof Banerjee recorded eight such 2.5 minute-long public health video messages in the Bengali from his Massachusetts home. He used the services of a major telecoms provider for the purpose. He and a team of researchers from the US and India sent text messages linked to the videos to 25 million people in the state in early May, said the BBC report.
The reporting of health symptoms to community health workers for fever and respiratory diseases decreased travel beyond one’s village, increased handwashing and wearing of masks doubled as a result of Dr Banerjee’s messages, the report further said.