As Prime Minister Modi announced a total lockdown of 21 days in view of Coronavirus pandemic that has recently hit the country, the print media suffered a setback as newspapers from across several publications remained undelivered nationwide. Many subscribers woke up complaining that they had not received their newspapers for the day.
A journalist by profession tweeted, “Got no newspapers today. I subscribe to 10. Anyone know why?” Commentators answered her query by saying that many of them had faced similar situations this morning and lockdown could be the reason. A man from Vadodra claimed that the police had said the distribution of newspapers has been stopped for the time being. “Did not get the newspaper in Vadodara today. Yesterday city police had issued an advisory on their social media page that newspaper delivery is not allowed (sic),” said the tweet.
Despite the restrictions exempting print and electronic media from carrying out their functions, the delivery of newspapers put local vendors at the risk of contracting the disease due to movement, as well as the risk of transmission. Therefore, many resident welfare associations prohibited persons from outside to enter the colonies in fear of the spread of the COVID-19 infection. This has greatly hampered their business.
According to reports, Mumbai, the financial capital, has gone the third consecutive day without the publishing and printing of newspapers as hawkers refused to deliver over speculation that the virus could transmit via the newspaper. Although no such claims have been verified by the WHO, fear largely looms among the vendors.
Netizens took to Twitter urging media houses to clarify to the public that the world health body had announced that Coronavirus transmission was highly unlikely to transmit via the newspapers. Several internet users Tweeted that they were missing out on information as they mostly relied on newspapers and weren't digital-savvy.
No one is coming here at delhi from Sunday!— Suyash Upadhyay (@suyash9182) March 25, 2020
But Most parts of the India not getting any newspapers delivered due to lockdown. https://t.co/QGwFR85QWf— 🕉 𝔻𝕖𝕖𝕡𝕒𝕜 Stay calm & safe (@KodelaDeepak) March 24, 2020
But not sure for India as the newspapers change too many hands before they are delivered.— Arun Shaw (@Shaw_arun) March 23, 2020
Ok. Saw a video on WA where one of the doctors mentioned newspaper as fomite— Arun Shaw (@Shaw_arun) March 23, 2020
There has to be acceptance to the fact that a large population of India don’t read English newspapers much lesser views expressed in international. What’s the ratio of English to Hindu or regional readership. So the message is not falling on deaf ears. It’s simply not delivered!— Sanija Khan (@khan_sanija) December 27, 2019
@narendramodi @PMOIndia https://t.co/9q33csBs0N WHO has clarified that newspapers do not transmit corona virus. In your next national telecast, please dispel this fear among people. At present, newspapers are not being delivered in many parts of India.— KV Suryanarayanan (@kvs_53) March 25, 2020