Clearing the rumour about the newspapers being the carrier of deadly Coronavirus, the scientists at India’s top health research bodies and health experts have said that the newspaper is safe and no evidences have been found so far.
The statements came after WhatsApp messages and forwards — stating that newspapers can be avenues of infection were in circulation in the public.
But this has been roundly refuted by health experts and doctors.
Nivedita Gupta, chief epidemiologist at the Indian Council of Medical Research said that Covid-19 is a “respiratory infection” and there is “no risk” of catching it through newspapers.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday praised the media for disseminating information to every nook and cranny of this nation.
He said that the network of media is pan-India and spread across cities and villages.
This makes the media all the more significant in fighting this challenge and spreading correct information about it at micro level.
PM was interacting with over twenty journalists and stakeholders from Print Media from all over the country via video conference.
The journalists joined the interaction from fourteen locations and consisted of both, national and regional media representing eleven different languages.
PM Modi appreciated the role played by print media especially newspapers.
“Newspapers carry tremendous credibility and the local page of a region is widely read by people. It is therefore imperative that awareness about coronavirus is spread through articles published in this page,” PM Modi said.
The appreciation has come at a time when lot of people have stopped taking newspaper amidst Corona scare fearing the spread of the virus through newspapers.
A number of experts have come up to convince people that newspaper comes under The Essential Services Act and is vital for disseminating factually correct information among people.
PM emphasized that it was important to tackle the spread of pessimism, negativity and rumour mongering.
During the interaction Prime Minister asked the media to act as a link between government and people and provide continuous feedback, at both national and regional level.
He underlined the importance of social distancing, asking media to generate awareness about its importance, inform people about the lockdown decision by states, and also highlight the impact of spread of the virus, through inclusion of international data and case studies about other countries in the papers.
Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare thanked the journalists for preventing the spread of panic through sharing information about proactive, preemptive and graded response of the Government.
She appealed to the print media to prevent the spread of misinformation in this hour of crisis.
Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar also participated in the interaction.