Newspapers don't spread COVID-19: Health Experts

Newspapers don't spread coronavirus: Health Experts

Leading endocrinologist Anoop Misra cautioned citizens against rumours that newspapers are carriers of the COVID-19 virus

Representative image (iStock Photo)

Health experts have said there is no known risk of spread of novel coronavirus through newspapers, busting rumours that have triggered a scare amongst one and many.

“There is no known risk with picking up or reading newspapers,” epidemiologist Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder-director of Washington-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy told DH.

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“It is more of a perception than reality that COVID-19 virus spreads through newspapers,” N K Ganguly, former Director General Indian Council of Medical Research told DH.

Leading endocrinologist Anoop Misra cautioned citizens against rumours that newspapers are carriers of the COVID-19 virus.

“There is no study done on survival of droplets containing the virus staying on the surface of newspapers,” Misra, Chairman of Fortis Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol said.

Kalyan Banerjee, former Director of Pune-based National Institute of Virology advised a quick 20-second hand wash as an additional safety measure after reading newspaper, just to be doubly sure of not getting any other infection.

“Infection from newspaper us one of the least possibilities,” Banerjee said.

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“Based on the information received so far and on our experience with other coronaviruses, Covid-19 appears to spread mostly through respiratory droplets (for instance produced when a sick person coughs) and close contact. This is why WHO recommends maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene,” Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, World Health Organisation, South East Asia Region said.

The World Health Organisation, in an advisory has said the was safe to receive a package from any area where Covid-19 has been reported.

 

“The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes Covid-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low,” the WHO states in its question and answer segment for coronavirus.

The Center for Disease Control of the US also advised consumers that Covid-19 had “a very low risk” of spreading on packages, newspapers, and other mail due to the “poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces.”

Moreover, the printing and packaging processes of newspapers, nowadays, is done automatically with least involvement of human hands.

The newspaper pages are made by designers and transmitted digitally to printing presses. The printing machines are fully automatic and also handle the packaging process.

At DH, packaged newspaper bundles are further fumigated to ensure disinfection before being dispatched to vendors.

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