As the world is struggling with the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, the significance of being informed cannot be further emphasised. Despite most people’s dependency on electronic and digital media, there are many who still prefer to have their daily dose of information from a hard copy of the newspaper. Among some of the fake news that were surfacing all over the social media, a piece also suggested avoiding taking newspapers at their drop step, for the time being. This was being suggested in order to keep practicing strict social distancing and lockdown. But, there are reports which suggest otherwise.
According to the International News Media Association, the world’s top expert has refuted any incident which suggests that print newspaper, print magazine, print letter, or print packages, can spread COVID-19 virus. “There has never been a documented incident whereby the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted from a print newspaper, print magazine, print letter, or print package, according to the world’s top doctors and scientists,” stated the website.
“Newspapers are pretty sterile because of the way they are printed and the process they’ve been through. Traditionally, people have eaten fish and chips out of them for that very reason. So all of the ink and the print makes them actually quite sterile. The chances of that are infinitesimal,” told John Innes Centre virologist George Lomonossoff during an interview with BBC.
In fact, the World Health Organisation has also debunked the concerns pertaining to the spread of coronavirus through packages from any area which has been affected by COVID-19. “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,” said the official website of WHO.
A few more acclaimed health intuitions also talked about the transmission of the coronavirus through newspapers and packages. While Hartford Healthcare said, “Don’t worry about deliveries to your house. Coronaviruses don’t last long on objects” a study published in the Journal of Medicine stated that coronavirus stays stable on various surfaces, especially on newsprint. “For newsprint, which is much more porous than cardboard, virus viability is presumably even shorter,” reported the INMA website.
“Outside, on an inanimate surface, the virus will gradually lose the ability to be an infectious agent. It may dry out, for example. It can degrade when exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. A person sneezing on a surface may deposit many thousands of virus participles, and some may remain viable for days. Still, the likelihood of a person who comes into contact with the remnants of that sneeze goes down over time, because most infections are the result of a large viral load,” author Joel Achenbach explained a March 13 Washington Post article in layman language to clear the air about the spread of coronavirus.