NBSA advises media persons not to enter hospitals or isolation wards for interviews

MUMBAI: The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has issued an advisory asking reporters, camerapersons and other editorial staff against entering hospitals or isolation wards. The NBSA is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) to consider and adjudicate upon complaints about broadcasts.

The advisory was issued after it was brought to NBSA’s notice that the reporters and camerapersons of some television channels are entering hospitals or isolation wards and hotels and interviewing patients and medical personnel.

“You are aware that there is a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the lockdown is that there should be no interaction and there should be social distancing amongst people to obviate the spread of the deadly virus,” the NBSA said. It also noted that the media is playing a very important role in the dissemination of information to keep the public informed of all the developments relating to COVID-19.

“All reporters/camerapersons and other editorial staff are strictly advised not to enter hospitals/isolation wards or any other place where patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been kept in isolation to contain the spread of the virus in order to avoid putting other persons’ lives at risk,” the advisory said.

They are also advised not to interview the medical personnel, who have been kept in hotels or similar places in relation to COVID-19, the NBSA said.

“Please note that special sensitivity and care need to be taken while covering news relating to persons isolated in hospitals and other places to ensure that the privacy and dignity of patients/medical personnel is maintained,” it said.

The right to privacy and confidentiality of the patients and medical personnel is paramount, it asserted. Members and editors are requested to ensure a strict compliance of the advisory, the NBSA said.

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