No proof of Covid-19 spread through newspapers: Health minister
None of the experts, internationally or nationally, studying Sars-Cov-2, have established so far any cases of Covid-19 infection from newspaper or package, with scientific research showing that the virus does not survive on porous surfaces.Updated: Oct 19, 2020, 03:50 IST
The Union health minister, Harsh Vardhan, said on Sunday that there was no scientific evidence to prove that Sars-Cov-2 virus, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19), was transmitted through newspapers and that it is “totally safe to read newspapers”.
“Call your hawker now as newspapers spreading the virus is a baseless rumour; it is a respiratory virus and spread through droplets suspended in the air. There is no scientific evidence before us that tells us that newspapers spread the virus. It is totally safe to read newspapers even during Covid-19 pandemic as they are not a source of novel coronavirus transmission,” he said.
While talking about credibility of newspapers, Prime minister Narendra Modi had earlier also said that it was completely safe to read newspapers and that newspapers were vital in spreading correct information.
None of the experts, internationally or nationally, studying Sars-Cov-2, have established so far any cases of Covid-19 infection from newspaper or package, with scientific research showing that the virus does not survive on porous surfaces.
“It is not true that newspapers can be a source of Covid-19 infection, there is no evidence to suggest that. If it was happening, we would have said so to stop infection. What we know about the virus for sure right now is that it spreads largely through droplets and fomites (infected surfaces), not newspapers,” Sujeet K Singh, director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), had earlier told HT.
A study published earlier this year in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, which is the world’s most cited research journal with an impact factor of 70.6, on the varying stability of the coronavirus on different surfaces had found that the lowest transmission possibilities were copper because of its atomic makeup and cardboard because of its porous texture. The transmission was highest as aerosols, and higher on plastic and stainless steel.