With the pandemic upon us, adopting safety measures such as wearing masks, carrying sanitizers, and following social distancing norms is the need of the hour. And, while news channels and media houses keep us appraised with the latest developments and information on COVID-19 and even berate us on the necessity of following precautionary measures, they are failing to adopt them, themselves.
Ironically, TV reporters who often tell people to wear masks are going about reporting without wearing them in public. As per publicly available footage, reporters from noted media houses such as Republic TV were seen at work without adhering to any safety precautions. In the attached images, a journalist from Republic TV can be seen providing updates on the increasing spread of Coronavirus from a public place without a wearing mask, or as much as covering her mouth with a normal cloth.
While reporting from hotspots and meeting several people is part of a TV reporter’s job, the conduct of such activities by the journalists and media personnel without adhering to safety measures, certainly raises concerns. Such callousness on the part of the TV reporters is uncalled for and it could end up putting them as well as the common public at an increased risk of contracting the virus. Masks and sanitizers are one of the most primary precautionary steps that one can take to avoid coronavirus, in addition, to maintaining social distance. The World Health Organization made it mandatory for Health Care and Medical workers to wear appropriate masks and make use of proper safety gear at all times. While there were no such guidelines issued for the general public to wear masks, the increase in the coronavirus cases worldwide, prompted the WHO to advise everyone to make use of masks when they step out. In concurrence with WHO’s advisory, the Indian Government (with effect from Thursday, 9th April 2020) made it mandatory for its citizens to wear masks in public. The order was initially brought into effect in Delhi, Mumbai and some parts of Uttar Pradesh, however, in coping with the gravity of the situation, wearing of masks was made mandatory for the whole India on 21st April 2020 - in a declaration to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Narendra Modi advised people to make use of homemade masks or to simply cover the face with a ‘gamcha’
or any cotton cloth by folding it three times. State governments also encouraged the safety guideline and distributed cloth masks made by small tailors within their territories. On 9th April 2020, the Government of Odisha, made the wearing of face masks compulsory across the state, with a fine for non-compliance. By 15th April 2020, over 25,000 cloth masks were stitched by 63 tailors and over 22,000 distributed to the citizens in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Odisha. At present, India has a total of 61152 confirmed positive corona patients; 20913 have recovered from the virus whereas 2206 have succumbed to it.