Media not sticking to Covid reporting guidelines – Government

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is urging its Media to refrain showing the last rites of victims of Covid 19 as it brings pain and anguish to the families of the deceased, the Department of Government Information said.

A statement issued by the Director-General of Information Nalaka Kaluwewa drew the attention of Media heads to guidelines for reporting the pandemic that had been agreed to in mid-October after a discussion with Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.

Those guidelines emphasized that scenes such as the casket containing the remains of the deceased person being placed inside a crematorium should not be shown.

“These are deeply sensitive scenes and create anguish to the minds of relatives,” Kaluwewa said.

Media organisations also have been asked to protect the privacy of Covid patients and not to refer to them “as persons capable of spreading the disease.”

“Broadcasting or publishing medical reports, photos or any other material that can identify patients should not be done,” he said.

He said that instances where these guidelines are being violated have been observed recently.

(Colombo, October 29, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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