News channel cameraman tests Covid positive in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: A cameraman of a local news channel tested positive for coronavirus in the city, while the remaining 119 media persons who also took the test had negative result, an official said on Saturday.
“Of the 120 electronic and print media persons who were tested on Friday, only a cameraman turned positive for the infection. He has been isolated and admitted to a designated hospital for treatment in the city,” an official told IANS.
On chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s direction, the state health department has started screening since Friday all journalists in the city covering events related to the communicable disease at a state-run hospital in the city’s eastern suburb.
“Media response for the Covid-test was good despite rains lashing the city on the first day of the 3-day medical check-up. About 200 more are being tested today (Saturday) and the remaining would take the test on Monday,” state information department joint director (news) D.P. Muralidhar told IANS here.
With only one testing positive out of 120 persons, the official said it was a relief to know most of the scribes have been safe and taking steps to ensure they remain immune to the infection by wearing masks, washing hands with sanitiser and maintain social distancing.
“As the test is conducted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on those who register first as per their convenience, keeping in view their duty in the field, the scribes are given time slot for the test to ensure they maintain social/personal distancing and don’t wait longer at the designated hospital,” added the official.
After testing all scribes in the city, the information and health departments will soon conduct similar check-ups in other cities and towns across the 29 districts of the southern state, where many journalists also risk their lives by going out for news gathering.
“As the state government is equally concerned about the health of all journalists in print and electronic media involved in Covid-19 coverage, throat and nasal swab tests are conducted at the designated hospital,” said state health secretary Jawaid Akhtar in an order.
According to the Bangalore Press Club, the city has about 1,000 journalists, camera persons, news channels crews, spanning print, electronic, digital and other media platforms in multi-languages, with half of them on Covid beat, as no other event is happening since the pandemic broke out across the state in March.
“Correspondents, camerapersons and crew of news channels will be checked first, followed by print media journalists and photo-journalists in all languages,” added Muralidhar.
The decision to make the city scribes take the Covid test was taken following media reports that several journalists in Mumbai and Chennai contracted the infection in the field, covering its outbreak and spread over a month.