A medical expert has called on the government to provide preventive equipment for journalists as a group that was highly exposed on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
“Investigation reveals that journalists appear to be exposed to the pandemic more than security and medical personnel.
“This is due to their interaction with different people they encounter every day while gathering and collecting news in various communities,’’ Dr. Piman Hoffman, Assistant Director, African Climate Reporter, said in Kaduna, on Thursday.
Fielding question from newsmen, Hoffman noted that Journalists were working round the clock to provide readers with comprehensive, up-to-date reporting on the COVID-19 global pandemic, as cases kept on rising on daily basis.
He said it had now become necessary for all media organizations, across the globe, to provide their reporters with protective tools against getting infected, while visiting the market, train stations, car parks, mosques, churches, and other social gatherings.
“The outbreak of the pandemic affected private media houses to the extent that some cannot pay staff salary, while others were forced to reduce the number of workers,’’ he said.
“It is advisable for all media owners to provide facemask, hand glove and sanitizers to their reporters to protect them against getting infected by the virus.
“Media organisations should organise on-line workshops and webinars to train their journalists every week, on ways to prevent the spread and other tropical diseases in their region,’’ he said.
Hoffman said because of the dangers they faced while carrying out their duty on COVID-19, network of African journalists, Press Council and network for the protection of journalists, among other stake holders, should ensure continuous training of health reporters on various preventive ways against COVID-19. (NAN)