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Avoid Spreading Rumours

I extend my gratitude to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for asking all social media companies to remove reports spreading misinformation about the novel Coronavirus from their platforms with an immediate effect. It is an actual fact that nowadays whole mankind of the world is in terrifying circumstances due to the pandemic disease. Circulation of misinformation, false news and sharing anonymous data related to coronavirus on social media platforms is creating more panic among the people. In such situation, social media companies should initiate an awareness campaign on their platforms for the users not to upload or circulate false news or misinformation which is likely to create panic among the people and disturb order along with social tranquility.


Newspaper Not Carrier Of Virus

The media, including the print media, has been listed among the essential services and hence is exempted from the lockdown. No democracy anywhere in the world has stopped publication of newspaper in times of a pandemic. It must be said that at times of emergency like the coronavirus pandemic, the print media has a very important role to play as a source of information and educating the public. According to virologists, the chances of getting infected when one picks up a newspaper are virtually nil. In today’s world newspapers are printed with highly automated process and without human contact. It has been proven that viruses don’t survive for long on paper so as to cause infection. It requires a certain amount of viral load to acquire the infection which is not possible on a newspaper. It is believed that there is no medical evidence, till date, to show that coronavirus spreads through newspaper as the droplets carrying the virus is drawn in the paper and gets destroyed.  Even in countries most affected by the virus the circulation of the newspaper has not been closed. Along with the doctors, healthcare workers and the police, the news reporters are also doing a tremendous job under trying circumstances, to the extent of even risking getting infected by the virus, in order to provide for the citizens the news the next day. They are the unsung heroes.


Book Those Skipping Quarantine   

MOST of the state governments in India are doing a great, albeit a difficult job, by screening and measuring body temperature of hundreds of passengers. These Herculean tasks are carried out by dedicated workers at airports, railway stations, inter-state bus terminus and state borders. The passengers with suspected case of COVID-19 and also all those coming from the virus ravaged countries and Indian states are advised to undergo self quarantine / isolation at home for 14 days. Those who have tested positive are quarantined at government-run hospitals, centres and even in pre-identified and sanitised hotels. In Maharashtra, the incoming travellers are stamped on their left hand with indelible ink and asked to go home and get quarantined for 14 days. Since a few days the Health Minister of Goa is mulling to do the same. Although many people may dislike this process but it is essential to identify doubtful carriers of the virus. The governments that stamp the travellers need to consider two aspects: (i) The stamped travellers may need to go home which is in other state for example, a passenger comes from aboard, alights at Mumbai, gets stamped and has to take a train or bus to go to Surat or Goa. When she or he boards a bus/train then co-passengers notice the stamp and create a ruckus and the traveller is asked to de-board and taken to a government-run centre or hospital. Would it not be better if incoming travellers are quarantined when they deplane? This would avoid the social stigma and also largely reduce the risk of spread of the virus by a potential carrier; (ii) in recent days there have been incidences of persons who either ran away from quarantine centres or have not undergone the recommended self-quarantine. Irrespective of their status, persons, who skip or run away from quarantine centres, should be booked under existing laws.


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