POST TIME: 1 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM
Coronavirus does not spread thru newspapers
Say medical experts

Coronavirus does not spread thru 

Coronavirus does not spread through any paper, including newspapers, leading medical experts of the country said yesterday. They said people can continue to read newspapers without any hesitation as it has not been ascertained that newspapers help spread the deadly virus. The experts, however, urged people involved in printing and distribution of newspapers to adopt cautionary measures. Talking to The Independent, Dr ABM Abdullah, personal physician of the Prime Minister, said it has been scientifically proven that coronavirus does not spread through newspapers.

“No one should worry about reading newspapers. You can read newspapers without any hesitation,” he asserted. “Even if the virus comes with the touch of newspapers, it can’t sustain,” he added. Dr Khan Abul Kalam Azad, principal of the Dhaka Medical College (DMCH), echoed the observations.  He,

however, said steps must be taken to prevent droplets that are coughed or sneezed out from falling on newspapers like other things, and that papers should not be kept on the floor.

On March 25, the Newspapers Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (NOAB), in a statement, requested everyone to read newspapers without any fear.

“The panic, without doubt, is not without foundations because of the extent of the spread of the virus and the number of deaths. The movement of virus is still under investigation,” it said.

There is no information available yet to suggest that newspapers help the survival of the virus, said the NOAB, adding that the WHO has said commercial items have very little chance of carrying contamination. Goods being transported to different places in various temperatures have little risk of the coronavirus infection.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said there is no chance of the spread of the virus through newspapers.  Meanwhile, NOAB has begun distribution of masks, gloves, and sanitisers among agents and hawkers.

The United States Journal of Medicine, published from New England, has found that the coronavirus can live for a maximum of three hours in the air, a day on the cardboard, and two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.  

Prof. Caroline Makhamar, a long-time researcher, has published her research on the John Hopkins University website. “From the surface of objects, there is very little chance of the virus spreading, one in a thousand,” she said.