Coronavirus (380) Guidance for ASHA workers (2)

9 April, 2020

Dear Sian, [Sian Williams, UK:

Thank you for your response. My guideline is for self care of all frontline workers including Ashas. Nowhere do I say that this will prevent Covid or treat a pre existing condition.

The steaming/gargling/warm beverages recommendation is included because these are our traditional ways to handle common cold. This is included because CHWs everywhere are out in the community. In the case of our Ashas and other frontline workers, they are doing door to door surveys in their own villages/ slums on foot. They are faced with dust and fluctuating weather. It must be the same with frontline workers globally.

In fact much before I put it online, I have shared the guideline with several of my colleagues in India, including a senior epidemiologist and a senior immunologist, both working with Ashas. They did not raise any misgivings whatsoever and agreed to disseminate it.

I would like to say something again. There’s so much material and information aimed at the community. Take even this particular hifa message. There is not much material for frontline workers who are working alone in the community and might not have the complete protective gear. Let us generate specific messages for them as well.

Keep well everyone,



Kavita Bhatia,PhD

Independent researcher (India)

HIFA profile: Kavita Bhatia is an independent researcher in public health. She is based in India. She has considerable experience in the documentation and evaluation of community-based voluntary health care programs, particularly those involving community health workers. Since the past few years, she has been doing research, documentation and advocacy for women community health workers in large scale public health care programs. She is interested in the gender issues, rights and professional development of women health workers. She also runs an e-platform called Ashavani ( She is also a member of the HIFA Working Group on Community Health Workers: kavbha AT