BMC Health Committee member Amey Ghole told HuffPost India that samples of 167 journalists had been sent for testing. “Out of 167 samples, 53 have come positive for Covid-19,” he said. “The number could go up.” These 53 journalists include reporters, cameramen of news channels and photojournalists.
Journalist Ashok Bagriya tweeted that an entire team of reporters of a television channel in Mumbai had tested positive.
Maharashtra has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. As of Monday, 4,203 people had been infected in the state, including 223 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In Mumbai alone, over 2,700 persons have tested positive.
Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal said at a daily press conference that it was unfortunate that journalists have tested positive for Covid-19, ANI reported. “When you [journalists] attend your call of duty, kindly take the required precautions, follow the norms of social distancing and wear face masks,” he said.
Earlier too, some journalists had been found infected with the virus. Two journalists in Chennai tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, after showing mild symptoms, The News Minute reported. A journalist from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh also tested positive for Covid-19 in March.
The Centre had on March 25 imposed a three-week lockdown to battle the spread of Covid-19. On April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown to May 3.