Pak journos visiting quarantine centres to get protective kits

Ambulances are seen outside a quarantine facility for people returning from Iran in southern Pakistan's Sukkur.

Islamabad,(Asian independent) The Pakistan government has decided to provide protective kits to journalists visiting quarantine centres and intensive care units (ICUs) to report on the coronavorus pandemic, a top official said here.

Addressing a video-conference here on Wednesday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said journalists were playing a front-line role in the fight against coronavirus and steps were being taken to ensure their safety and health, reports Dawn news.

Awan further said that the government would soon launch a “Care for Media” mobile app which would provide information to journalists if someone from the community tested positive for COVID-19 and help them with treatment.

Urging media owners to take the press clubs on board, she said hawkers had been most affected by the lockdown as newspaper distribution had been disrupted, adding that they (hawkers) would also be included in the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme.

Stressing the need to share positive news (about recoveries), she said: “Hearing negativity all day, constantly seeing numbers increasing, can have a negative impact on people’s mental health.

“By giving airtime to recovered patients, we can reduce the stigma against them.”

The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has increased to 2,238 with 31 deaths.