Twenty-six employees of a TV news channel based in Chennai tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, just a day after the organisation reported its first case, The Indian Express reported.
An unidentified Tamil Nadu health department official told the newspaper that all of the patients are in isolation at government facilities in Chennai and are receiving treatment.
The official said that after the first Covid-19 case emerged from the organisation on Monday, the samples of 92 employees were immediately sent for tests. “When results came on Tuesday, 26 of them tested positive,” he told the newspaper. “We have already isolated them and their secondary contacts are being traced now.”
An unidentified official told The News Minute that employees will not be allowed inside the organisation’s premises. “Only three persons are being allowed to work in the Production Control Room for the channel to stay on air,” the official said. “The others have been asked to quarantine at home.”
The organisation’s managing editor told The Indian Express that they will cooperate with the government. “We will not try to run the channel risking many lives,” he said. “We promise that we will work along with the government and follow further directions. We will come back soon with the entire strength and more reports.”
Tamil Nadu has 1,520 cases of the coronavirus, according to the Union health ministry. Seventeen people have died of Covid-19 in the state.
Delhi may soon test journalists for Covid-19
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday that his government will conduct coronavirus tests for media persons. Responding to a tweet requesting him to arrange mass Covid-19 tests for media persons in Delhi on the lines of the one carried out in Mumbai, Kejriwal said, “Sure. We will do that.”
Delhi has reported more than 2,000 Covid-19 cases and 47 deaths.
Uttar Pradesh to test journalists
The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday said accredited journalists will be tested for coronavirus at Lok Bhavan in Lucknow, PTI reported. “Orders have been issued for coronavirus testing of accredited journalists of state headquarters in Lucknow, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi told reporters.”
Health camps for journalists in Bengaluru
Karnataka Information and Public Relations Commissioner SN Siddaramappa wrote to the Bengaluru commissioner of health and public welfare to conduct medical checkups of journalists, PTI reported. The directive was issued on the orders of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Siddaramappa asked the health commissioner to fix the date, time and place for the checkup camp. He told the commissioner that there were around 1,000 journalists in Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, Yediyurappa tweeted: “Dear friends in media, you are toiling 24 hours a day without bothering about your life just like the doctors and police. I request you to please take care of your health and undergo medical examination.”
Earlier too, some journalists had been found infected with the virus. On Monday, at least 53 journalists in Mumbai tested positive for Covid-19. BMC Health Committee member Amey Ghole said samples of 167 journalists were sent for testing. “Out of 167 samples, 53 have come positive for Covid-19,” he said. “The number could go up.” These 53 journalists included reporters, cameramen of news channels and photojournalists.
A journalist from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh also tested positive for Covid-19 in March.