20/04/2020 3:24 PM IST | Updated 21/04/2020 12:44 AM IST

53 Journalists Test Positive For Coronavirus In Mumbai

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pendenkar has self-quarantined herself after coming in contact with some of these journalists

Policemen in hazmat suits at a COVID-19 coronavirus testing drive inside the Dharavi slums in Mumbai.

NAGPUR, Maharashtra: At least 53 journalists in Mumbai have tested positive for COVID-19 and the number is likely to go up, officials said on Monday.

Shiv Sena leader and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s health committee member Amey Ghole told HuffPost India that samples of 167 Mumbai journalists had been collected for the test.

“Out of 167 samples, 53 have come positive for COVID 19. The number could go up,” Ghole told HuffPost India.

The samples were collected at a special camp held by the BMC last week for journalists working in the field.

These 53 journalists include reporters, cameramen of news channels and photojournalists.

In a letter, written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Mumbai Press Club president Gurbir Singh expressed “dismay and shock” over the news of 53 journalists reporting positive of coronavirus.

“Most of the journalists – photojournalists, video journalists, and reporters – are fortunately asymptomatic and have been quarantined and being looked after by the BMC health authorities... Most media houses have shut their offices and have not provided any protective gear or special insurance to these frontline personnel. However, they continue to demand reports and visuals and expect the journalists to move around the city risking life and limb... The state government has been providing special insurance cover for all emergency and essential categories of workers who are tackling the coronavirus pandemic for the sum of Rs.50 lakh. Since journalists are performing an ‘essential service’, it is requested that the category of working journalists be brought under the same umbrella with a cover of Rs.50 lakh and provided the protection of an essential worker,” the Mumbai Press Club President requested the CM.

Meanwhile, Mumbai mayor Kishori Pendenkar has self-quarantined herself after coming in contact with some of the journalists who were tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

Maharashtra has been reporting the highest number of coronavirus cases and Mumbai has emerged as the hotspot of this novel virus.

The state has reported 4666 cases of people infected with coronavirus till Monday evening with 232 deaths. The state capital Mumbai has reported 3032 cases with 139 deaths.

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