Awami League launches online campaign against COVID-19 as outbreak rages on

  • Reazul Bashar, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-05-23 15:21:04 BdST

bdnews24

As the coronavirus continues to ravage Bangladesh, the Awami Leauge has initiated a campaign across several digital platforms to raise awareness about COVID-19 among ordinary people and serve their needs during the crisis.

Aside from building awareness, the ruling party is striving to provide accurate information about the disease to counteract the spread of misinformation while conducting assistance programmes online via its official website and Facebook page.

The Awami League and its associate organisations are also going door to door to deliver aid, based on appeals made online.

It is also actively battling the ‘infodemic’, a term used by the World Health Organization to describe the abundance of misinformation or 'fake news' on the disease, according to its research wing, the Centre for Research and Information (CRI).

“We began running the awareness programmes once the pandemic hit the country and disseminated government orders, health and hygiene directives along with information on emergency services to help citizens,” Tanmoy  Ahmed, coordinating engineer of CRI, told bdnews24.com.

“We are disseminating news and information about government initiatives and the relief work done by the Awami League to keep people’s spirits high.”

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader thanked the party's web team and CRI for running the virtual programmes amid the coronavirus crisis.

“Local representatives and Awami League leaders and activists can send photos of their relief efforts and other news from the grassroots via email to grassroot@albd.org,” he said in a video message. 

The party is also regularly holding a virtual discussion programme, ‘Beyond the Pandemic’, with a focus on Bangladesh's economic and social development standing now and in the post-pandemic times.

“We want to work by focusing on everyone’s opinion and that is reflected in this programme,” said prime minister’s Special Assistant Barrister Shah Ali Farhad, who moderates the programme.

“You’ll see senior leaders of the Awami League, policymakers, experts, academics, volunteers, young entrepreneurs and many others participating in the discussions.”

It is necessary for the policymakers and other stakeholders to meet repeatedly when a country is embroiled in a crisis but that is not possible under the present circumstances, Farhad noted.

“It is already proven across the world that such virtual programmes are effective,” he said.

At least 455 posts were shared from the Awami League's website and Facebook page as of Thursday evening in a bid to prevent misinformation on the coronavirus.

The information on coronavirus, the "dos and don’ts" and government orders posted on the official Facebook page of the Awami League reaches 92.7 million people, according to officials.

The party has also uploaded awareness-building videos to its Facebook page and YouTube channel, garnering a combined 14.2 million views until Thursday evening.

At least 667 news reports relating to the Awami League, Chhatra League, Jubo League and its other associate organisations' relief efforts have been published on the party's official website.

A messenger BOT has been added to the Awami League Facebook page to answer frequently asked questions and 45,686 people have engaged with it so far. The BOT service is open to all.

Two playlists, with 68 videos, titled 'Helping Distressed People During COVID 19 Crisis,' have been created the party's YouTube channel.

To engage the young generation, two live streams of Beyond the Pandemic series were arranged on the Facebook page.

Live shows titled ‘Awareness to prevent coronavirus epidemic’ and ‘Humanitarian aid during coronavirus crisis,’ which streamed on May 15 and May 19, respectively, were watched by 578,000 people with positive reviews.