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Kohima, April 4: Even after Media has been exempted from the purview of the ongoing countrywide lockdown, movement of media in the State capital has been restricted by the police.
The restriction imposed on the media this morning has taken the media fraternity by surprise. Police said they are performing their duty as directed by the Deputy Commissioner Kohima.
Deputy Commissioner had written a letter to Senior Superintendent of Police Kohima to ensure total restriction of vehicular movement except for those with vehicular pass and permit authorized by the competent authority and on emergency medical ground. When media approach the authorities for the car pass, they were informed that media personnel do not require car pass but to use identity cards already issued by media houses and competent department.
The matter has been communicated to the higher authority so that movement of media is not restricted. As directed by the authorities, media personnel do not breach the protocol of measures against COVID-19 and have been fully cooperating with the State Government and its agencies which are on war-footing combating the virus.
Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi said newspapers have “tremendous credibility” and, by acting as a link between the government and the people, play a critical role in creating awareness about the Covid-19 outbreak at both the national and regional levels.
“Citizens need to be assured that the government is committed to countering the impact of Covid-19,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said, following a call with 20 print media editors and stakeholders across the country over.
Appreciating the media’s contribution in the fight against the pandemic, Modi called for greater general awareness on the importance of social distancing. He also asked the media to inform people about the lockdown that states have imposed and what that entails, besides highlighting the impact of the outbreak with the inclusion of overseas data and case studies about other countries.
“It is essential to inform people about where the testing centres are, who should get tested, whom to contact to get tested and follow home isolation protocols,” the PMO cited Modi as having said.
“This information should be shared in newspapers and web portals of the paper,” the PM said. He also suggested that information like the location of stores selling essential items during a lockdown be shared in the regional pages. (Page News Service)