Raj Jain, CEO, Bennett Coleman and Company (BCCL), has issued a statement that newspapers delivered to homes are safe.
This statement follows readers looking to stop consuming print and vendors stopping delivery. Yesterday (23 March), chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thakeray stated that print establishments can remain open during the lockdown in the state.
Here's his statement in full:
Let’s not go by rumour mills and fear mongers. The newspaper delivered to your home is safe. And this fact is endorsed by several reputable authorities.
WHO, perhaps the organisation in the best position to comment on the matter has stated that couriers or packages delivered to homes (and that would include newspapers) carry a very low risk of infection even if they come from an infected zone!
It is safe to receive a package even from an area where COVID – 19 has been reported.” In their release, they’ve further state that “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”
Eminent doctors and leading virologists of India have stated categorically that newspapers delivered to your home are safe.
The government itself which has put the country in a lockdown have maintained that newspapers are an essential service and plays a positive role in disseminating authentic information and updates on the epidemic.
Despite the assurances from medical and other authorities certifying the newspaper delivered to homes as safe, we as the publishers continue to take extraordinary precautions to avoid infection under any circumstances.
Our plants are fully automated so the risk of infection is zero. The transportation and handling right up to the depot is done in fumigated trucks by masked and gloved handlers.
The vendor community is acutely aware of the dangers of infection not only to themselves but to the readers they cater to. With the help of the publishing community, they are taking extraordinary precautions themselves. They are turning back any delivery boy who has any symptoms like cold, cough or fever. They are using sanitizers liberally as also gloves and masks wherever they are available.
We are confident that the product we deliver is safe and we encourage our readers to enjoy their daily read with confidence.