Mumbai: As many as 53 mediapersons, mostly from the electronic media, have tested Covid-19 positive at a special camp organised for them, here last week.
BMC Reporters Association president Vishnu Sonawane said the affected mediapersons had been isolated at the Fern Hotel in Goregaon suburb, north-west Mumbai.
“Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, Mayor Kishori Pednekar and the BMC Health Committee chief Amey Ghole arranged for this isolation centre. The BMC is taking full care and all are requested not to go to the hotel’s vicinity,” Sonawane said.
Earlier during the day, TV Journalists Association president Vinod Jagdale confirmed to IANS that from the test reports received by afternoon, 30 had tested positive. The figure might go up, he added.
Taking note of the development, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Joint Secretary Luv Aggarwal on Monday expressed concern over mediapersons getting affected.
Requesting mediapersons to exercise all precautions in the line of duty, Aggarwal assured reporters in New Delhi that all those requiring testing based on sampling criteria would be tested.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Bala Nandgaonkar and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kirit Somaiya have separately urged the government and the electronic media to ensure proper treatment for the affected mediapersons.
Somaiya and Nandgaonkar also called upon the state government to provide mediapersons Rs 50 lakh insurance cover “on the lines of health personnel as even media is an essential service fraught with risks during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.
After the TVJA and Mantralaya & Legislature Reporters Association made a request, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Aditya Thackeray directed the BMC to conduct the special screening camp for mediapersons last week.
Coordinated by Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, 171 mediapersons were screened on April 16-17 near the Mumbai Press Club, the reports of which have started coming.
The mediapersons, who mostly perform field duties, were given tips to ensure their personal safety in public places, wearing masks, using sanitisers, etc in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.