As the print industry gets hit and several newspapers stay suspended due to COVID-19 scare, experts and publishers jump in to reassure.
Among the many rumours doing rounds about COVID-19, a prominent one is about newspapers and how they are unsafe. Along with the lockdown, this has been a major cause of concern for the print industry, prompting apparent anxiety. The World Health Organisation has deemed newspapers safe, something BCCL, one of the biggest publishers of newspapers in India has reiterated in their stance on the issue.
According to WHO, it is safe to receive a package even from an area where COVID-19 has been reported. “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”
— Times of India (@timesofindia) March 23, 2020
Raj Jain, CEO of BCCL says, “The government itself which has put the country in a lockdown have maintained that newspapers are an essential service and plays a positive role in disseminating authentic information and updates on the epidemic. Let’s not go by rumour mills and fear mongers. The newspaper delivered to your home is safe.”
“Despite the assurances from medical and other authorities certifying the newspaper delivered to homes as safe, we as the publishers continue to take extraordinary precautions to avoid infection under any circumstances,” he adds.
These measures include transportation of newspapers in fumigated trucks, handled by masked and gloved handlers. The vendor community has also stepped up by turning back delivery boys with symptoms like cold, cough or fever. Sanitizers are being liberally used by the people involved in the process.