Days after Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope junked rumours about newspapers spreading novel coronavirus, the International News Media Association (INMA) has collated more scientific evidence to promote the safety of newspapers.
The INMA – a global body that promotes healthy news media practices -- has gathered enough scientific research material to clarify that no one runs a risk of catching an infection from newspapers.
the World Health Organisation (WHO) has clearly mentioned that any package received by persons – including newspaper delivery – does not infect the receiver or the delivery person. Yet, rumours on the same abound on social media. Therefore, to dispel such myths, the INMA website enlisted a host of evidence that establishes the safety of handling newspapers.
They open their argument with how there is no report of the novel coronavirus being transmitted from one person to another anywhere in the world through newsprint. Then they move to highlight how research has established that in case the virus gets transmission to an inanimate surface its potency and lifespan is lowest on porous surfaces such as newspapers.
Besides, most major publishers follow an automated process, which is proven to be hygienic.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
George Lomonossoff, a virologist attached with UK’s John Innes Centre, says: “Newspapers are extremely sterile because of the way they are printed and the process they have been through. Traditionally, people have eaten fish and chips out of them for that very reason. All of the ink and the print makes them quite sterile.”Last but not least, neither the WHO or the Health Ministry has issued any guideline against the distribution of newspapers to contain the spread of the deadly and highly contagious novel coronavirus. Rather, both the Centre and the states have upheld the contribution of the print industry in spreading authentic information and spreading awareness on the coronavirus pandemic amid the global crisis.