That Newspaper in your hands is Coronavirus Free

Though the normal life has gotten to a standstill due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, several essential services keep on going—that include our newspaper industry! Everyone in the industry comes out to form the league of corona warriors who fight against all odds in this unprecedented time. Other than media personnel, our newspaper vendors and hawkers are very much part of the league. During this hard time, they are committed to delivering newspapers safely on our doorsteps. In many areas, copies of newspapers are wrapped in protective jacket and sanitised using alcohol-based sanitiser before handing over to readers.

After all these precautions and awareness in production and circulation of printed newspapers, it has been confirmed by scientists and researchers that copies of newspapers are safe from COVID-19. Rumour of the virus being transmitted through the surface of newspapers has been spreading in many parts of world. Particularly in India, it has been heard as if it really happens. The sad part in this is that such rumour makes a dent in circulation of printed newspapers that have already been reeling under distribution hurdle and plummeting ad revenue.

Physical newspaper being a carrier of COVID-19 is a myth. World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that newspapers are safe to read during the pandemic as the chance of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a product that has been moved and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. In this respect, researchers have unearthed the fact that the virus lasts longest on smooth or non-porous surface, not on porous surfaces like newsprint or paper.

Don’t panic! Holding today’s copy of newspaper in your hands is safe. This is true as former WHO scientist Dr Nalini Ramamurthy validates that viruses survive for a varying period of time depending on temperature and other conditions. That’s why the chance of an infected person contaminating a newspaper copy and risking of someone else subsequently being infected is quite low. By the time the paper reaches your home from the press it has already spent hours in different conditions and temperature.

At the time when human contact and touch points are being minimised, digital technology is serving as a key asset in tackling these challenges and supporting new ways of doing business. As the circulation of physical copies of newspapers during the COVID-19 crisis is being hampered, digital platforms have become integral to news media business continuity. Many newspaper houses grab this opportunity to drive digital transformation initiatives that bring about multiple improvements. It’s an act of discovering light out of the darkness of coronavirus pandemic!

SM Dutt
[email protected]

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