The Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh citing research findings that newspapers do not spread coronavirus requested the people to keep reading newspapers.
The novel virus has made people across the globe scared of and anxious about getting infected.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the association referring to claims made on social media that the virus could spread through newspapers said that such idea had no basis.
‘The spread of coronavirus all over the world has made all people fearful and anxious. This panic no doubt has understandable reasons behind it,’ said the statement, adding that the extent of the spread of the virus and the increasing number of deaths, along with the fact that the movement of virus is still under investigation, made matters worse.
The dailies are publishing news regarding ongoing research, new health rules and methods that must be followed along with stories of success in the matter.
‘We are noticing with agony that in such times of human frailty, the situation is being made more delicate by a section of social media feeding on unreliable information,’ the statement said.
Many readers are refraining from reading newspapers from such unfounded and conjectural ideas that newsprints may spread the virus, it observed.
‘In fact, such ideas have no basis. The United States Journal of Medicine published from New England found in their research that the virus lives for a maximum of three hours in the air, a day on the cardboard and two to three days on plastic and stainless steel,’ it explained.
However, Professor Caroline Makhamar, a long-time researcher, in an essay on the website of Johns Hopkins University has said that on surface of objects the virus has a minimal chance of survival even though it might seem fearful to some.
So far no research-information is available to suggest that newsprint or paper helps in the survival of the virus, it said.
The World Health Organisation has said that commercial items had very little chance of carrying contamination. Goods being transported to different places at various temperature have little risk of coronavirus infection.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said that there is no chance of the spread of this virus through newspapers.
Even then, NOAB has started an awareness-building endeavour on behalf all newspapers for the newspaper agents and hawkers. By now NOAB has been distributing masks, gloves and sanitisers among the agents and hawkers in Dhaka and outside. Such activity by NOAB will continue in the future also, according to the statement. (Source: New Age)