• Ankuran Dutta

#CheckTheFake-21: Newspaper – A carrier of information or virus?



April 21, 2020

People are still in dilemma to decide whether to stop delivery of newspaper or not.

A rumor about the spread of Covid-19 through newspaper abound on social media for a couple of weeks today.

Despite the WHO categorically rejected the rumor about newspaper as a carrier to Covid-19, the Maharashtra government on Saturday said door-to-door delivery of newspaper and magazines is prohibited as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus.

As reported in various news portal, the World Health Organization (WHO) has clearly mentioned that any package received by persons – including newspaper delivery – does not infect the receiver or the delivery person.

But Iran’s Coronavirus Combat Taskforce issued a decree in end March suspending all newspaper printing, delivery, and distribution, citing the need to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only this, even the authorities in Yemen, Oman, Jordan and Morocco have imposed similar bans on newspaper printing and distribution to contain the spread of novel coronavirus since March 17.

The International News Media Association (INMA) – a global body that promotes healthy news media practices came up with various scientific evidences trying to prove the rumor as false and fake.

It made a point that newsprint is extremely porous to carry the virus on its surface though porous surfaces carry the lowest potency for the shortest period of time

George Lomonossoff, a renowned virologist in the UK’s John Innes Centre, explains: “Newspapers are pretty sterile because of the way they are printed and the process they’ve been through. Traditionally, people have eaten fish and chips out of them for that very reason. All of the ink and the print makes them quite sterile.” 

Sujeet Singh, director of National Centre for Disease Control, said NCDC’s helpline number has been working round the clock to refute such rumours. “Investigating virologists have not found any evidence that suggests that it can survive on paper. We are getting these queries on everyday basis and clarifying them,” he said.

#CheckTheFake on #COVID19

FAKE: Newspaper spreads coronavirus

FACT: The World Health Organization (WHO) has clearly mentioned that any package received by persons – including newspaper delivery – does not infect the receiver or the delivery person (stated a website – Moneycontrol.com).

#CheckTheFake is a movement against #Infodemic in this crisis, initiated by Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust #ARMT (www.armt.in) in collaboration with The Assam Tribune and Northeast Now (www.nenow.in) to create awareness on #fakenews on #Coronavirus and improve media literacy through #Cartoons. ARMT Research

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