Twenty-eight employees of Zee News have tested positive for the coronavirus, Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary said on Monday. Most of them are asymptomatic, he said, tweeting an official statement from Zee News about the situation.

The organisation said that on May 15, one of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Following this, the company started testing employees who may have come in contact with the employee. Twenty-seven more were found to be infected.

“Fortunately most of them are asymptomatic and are not complaining of any discomfort,” Zee News said. “We believe this is because of early diagnosis and proactive intervention.” The news network said all guidelines and protocols have been followed, and its office, newsroom and studios have been sealed for sanitisation. The Zee News team has been shifted to an alternative facility.

“At the moment, Zee Media Corporation has 2,500 employees, by far the largest in the private sector,” the company said. “We are committed to the safety of each one of them.”

Attacking “social media stone pelters”, Chaudhary also claimed that “those who are infected had the option of sitting at home and sharing memes”. “They came to work because they are committed professionals.”

Following this, some social media users claimed that Zee News employees found infected with Covid-19 were still at work. In response, Chaudhary alleged that a malicious campaign was being conducted to distort his statement. He said no infected employee had come to work, and all the contacts of the employee who tested positive on May 15 had been tested and quarantined.

Over the past two months, journalists from several media organisations have tested positive for the coronavirus. On April 21, 26 employees of a Tamil news channel based in Chennai tested positive for the coronavirus. The previous day, over 50 journalists from Mumbai were found infected, after samples of over 170 journalists were tested.

On May 7, a newspaper journalist died of the coronavirus in Agra. Some states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Delhi, have tested journalists for Covid-19.

By Tuesday morning, India had reported 1,01,139 infections, including 3,163 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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