Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says the media in Pakistan should temporarily close their bureaus to lower health risks after three TV journalists working in the field tested positive for the coronavirus.
“You cannot rule out the possibility that the three journalists who have tested positive for COVID-19 caught it while reporting in the field,” Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said in a statement on March 23, a day after it emerged that two journalists with News 24 HD TV and one with AbbTakk TV had tested positive.
The journalists are based in Lahore, the capital of the eastern province of Punjab.
“We ask all of the country’s media executives and owners to put their reporters’ health first and not send large numbers of them into the field,” Bastard said. “Everything must be put in place so that they can work from home and avoid any potential source of infection.”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan has passed 950, with seven deaths.