MADURAI: In spite of reports of several media persons testing positive for COVI-19, newsmen in Madurai flouted social distancing norms during a media briefing of Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar on Thursday.
The incident took place after the minister, along with Collector TG Vinay, Commissioner of Police Davidson Devasirvatham, and Corporation Commissioner S Visakan, carried out inspected shops on South Veli Street. Subsequently, media persons flocked around the minister for a briefing.
A reporter, requesting anonymity, said, “Cameramen of channels were huddling together. Media, which carry lessons on social distancing should practice them too,” he added. However, a cameraman of a leading Tamil news channel said, “When other channels are covering the briefing, we cannot skip it; we would be held accountable by our editorial.”
An official, who was present during the inspection, told TNIE that it was high time media persons got sensitised. “A reporter or a cameraman meets many individuals and in the event of any of them getting infected, they could spread the virus,” he said. “Covering each and every inspection by ministers or officials is not necessary under these circumstances. At the same time, officials should avoid media briefing if they find prohibitory orders are violated,” he said.
The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory to media houses on Wednesday. Field staff, including reporters, cameramen, and photographers were told to take due precautions. The ministry requested the management of media houses to take necessary care of their field and office staff.