The government has warned that journalists who report on the second wave of epidemics, beginning with the Brandix Covid cluster and hundreds of sick every day, could be at risk of spreading the virus.
Acting Chief of Defense Staff and Army Commander Shavendra Silva has stated that the number of victims of the re-emergence of the corona epidemic in the country has now exceeded 700.
At present, in reporting on the latest developments related to the Covid 19 virus, the Department warns that it is dangerous for journalists to report on the background of hospitals, quarantine centers and their residences where the infected and their associates are being treated.
Nalaka Kaluwewa, Director General of Government Information, said in a statement, “In this situation, there may be some risk to the health of journalists and other staff members of the relevant media institutions.”
Therefore, the Director General of Government Information has requested the Heads of Information to instruct the journalists who are reporting on COVID 19 to always prioritize their health care and to follow the health guidelines issued by the health sector to the maximum and strictly.
Guidelines on reporting
In early April, the island’s chief health official introduced a number of recommendations, including guidelines to be followed in reporting on Covid 19, as TV channels began to publish news highlighting the race of people infected with the corona virus and quarantine.
A statement signed by the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, directed the then Director General of the Government Information Department to never mention race or religion in quoting persons, patients and deaths.
According to the guidelines introduced by the Director General of Health Services, only authentic and proven sources should be used to report on Covid 19, and people infected with the virus should not be referred to as “contagious persons” other than “patients”.
The extent of the risk should be reported based on technical and scientific facts only and the personalization of different personalities should be avoided.
Photos and videos of quarantined individuals and patients should not be displayed without their permission.
The Director General of Health Services had informed the Director General of Government Information that it would be more appropriate to blur the use of sensitive photographs or videos of funerals.
The specialist doctor also called on the public to refrain from reporting information that could lead to hatred, not only to create stress and frustration in the minds of the people, but also to provide news and awareness on the future with positive expectations and mutual support.
Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Director General of Health Services, also thanked the Government for its support to the Government’s efforts to combat the Corona epidemic. Because of the possibility of hiding without proper medical advice and treatment.