Maharashtra government on Saturday issued an order to exempt the print media from the lockdown, but door-todoor delivery of newspapers and magazines has been prohibited from April 20 till the extended lockdown ends on May 3.
The government’s order comes when 328 new coronavirus positive patients were detected and 11 deaths were reported in the state. The progressive cases on Saturday have risen to 3648 and the death toll stood at 211.
The state government’s move has surprised many as Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope recently said that there is no scientific proof that newspapers spread coronavirus."Touching, handling and reading newspapers do not infect you with corona,’’ he had said.
The opposition and various organisations have criticised the government order saying that it has been issued without application of mind. They said the coronavirus pandemic and consequent lockdown is bleeding the print media and the government order would further aggravate the situation.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke to newspaper owners and editors and explained the government's role in banning door-to-door delivery of newspapers and magazines. Thackeray's press advisor Harshal Pradhan said that the newspaper owners and editors have assured their full cooperation.