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Newspapers don’t spread virus: Research

No record or proof of risk: International News Media Association
“Scientific research on virus transmission to inanimate surfaces suggests porous surfaces carry the lowest potency for the shortest period of time,” Wilkinson said.
“Scientific research on virus transmission to inanimate surfaces suggests porous surfaces carry the lowest potency for the shortest period of time,” Wilkinson said.
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Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 24.03.20, 10:05 PM

There is no record or any evidence for the coronavirus being transmitted through print newspaper, magazine, letter or package, the International News Media Association has said, citing health agencies and medical experts.

All scientific evidence suggests that porous paper surfaces that include newsprint are safe from the coronavirus, Earl Wilkinson, the INMA’s executive director and chief executive officer, said in a blog that refers to research studies and health agency guidance.

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“Scientific research on virus transmission to inanimate surfaces suggests porous surfaces carry the lowest potency for the shortest period of time,” Wilkinson said.

“Newspapers are even more sterile because of the ink and the printing process they go through. There has never been a reported incident of coronavirus being transmitted via newsprint.”

A study by researchers at the US National Institutes of Health, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Princeton University published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week had shown that the coronavirus lasts longest on smooth, non-porous surfaces.

Across aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper and cardboard, the lowest levels of coronavirus transmission possibilities were through copper because of its atomic makeup and cardboard because of its porous nature.

The study found the virus was not viable on cardboard in 24 hours. “For newsprint, which is much more porous than cardboard, virus viability is presumably even shorter,” Wilkinson said.

The World Health Organisation has also said that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is “low and the risk of catching the virus that causes coronavirus disease from a package that has been moved, travelled and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low”.

Hartford Healthcare, a US-based healthcare network, has said that people need not worry about deliveries to their houses — from anywhere —because coronaviruses do not last long on objects.

Wilkinson has quoted an infectious disease specialist on the best protection. “Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth unless you’ve washed your hands,” said Stephanie Wright, assistant director of infectious diseases at the Hartford Hospital. “And stay away from people who are ill.”



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