Zee Media released a statement on Monday, saying 28 of Zee News employees have been tested positive for the coronavirus. The newsroom has been sealed for sanitation and the team has been shifted to an alternative facility for the time being.
“The global pandemic has now become a personal story for Zee Media. Last Friday, one of our colleagues tested positive for COVID-19. As a responsible organisation, we initiated mass testing of all those who could have been in direct or indirect contact with the said individual,” Sudhir Chaudhary, Editor-in-Chief, Zee News said in a statement.
“So far 28 of our team mates have tested positive. Fortunately, most of them are asymptomatic and not complaining of any discomfort. We believe this is because of early diagnosis and pro-active intervention,” the statement said.
“We are following the best practices to break the cycle and contain the infection, in coordiation with all government and health authorities. All health protocols and official guidelines are being followed,” Chaudhary announced.
“At the moment, Zee Media Corporation has 2,500 employees, by far the largest in the private sector,” the company said. “We are committed to the safety of each one of them.”
Attacking “social media stone pelters”, Chaudhary also claimed that “those who are infected had the option of sitting at home and sharing memes”. “They came to work because they are committed professionals.”
Following this, some social media users said that Zee News employees found infected with Covid-19 were still at work.
In response, Chaudhary alleged that a malicious campaign was being conducted to distort his statement. He said no infected employee had come to work, and all the contacts of the employee who tested positive on May 15 had been tested and quarantined.
The testing of the rest of the employees will continue. The ICMR too has relaxed its testing norms to allow it to test asymptomatic individuals who might be COVID-19 positive and carriers of the disease.
Over the past two months, journalists from several media organisations have tested positive for the coronavirus. On April 21, 26 employees of a Tamil news channel based in Chennai tested positive for the coronavirus. The previous day, over 50 journalists from Mumbai were found infected, after samples of over 170 journalists were tested.
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