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ARY Office Sealed After 8 Employees Test Positive For Coronavirus

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ISLAMABAD: ARY News Islamabad Bureau office was sealed on Monday after its eight employees tested positive for coronavirus. In a tweet on Monday morning, ARY CEO Salman Iqbal revealed that the bureau conducted random testing of its 20 employees; of which 8 were found infected by the deadly virus.

Salman further said that symptoms were found only in two of the infected employees. “We have closed our Islamabad office, all staff will be tested and office will be sanitized,” he said. For precautionary measures, all employees have been asked to stay at their homes.

The condition of all coronvirus positive employees is stable. The source said that three cameramen and DSNG drivers who are among those infected by the virus had visited Faisal Edhi a few days back to record his interview.

Senior journalist Zafar Malik said that media organizations haven’t taken measures for the safety of journalists and hence the government should ensure testing facilities to all journalists without any discrimination. He said that just as doctors and paramedics, journalists and media workers are also frontline soldiers and need precautionary measures and testing facilities.

District Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqat, when contacted, said the ICT admin is going to write letters to all media houses to take care of their workers and disinfect their offices. He said an advisory in this regard will soon be issued. Regarding ARY news office, he said that the ARY admin took the decision itself of sealing the office. The ICT admin will send its teams tomorrow for further measures.

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Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) President, Aamir Sajjad Syed said that it was the government’s responsibility to provide safety measures to journalists and other media workers but it has not made any efforts in this regard. “Whatever we have done for the safety and security of media workers, is without any government support,” he added.

He said that the government is not at all supportive to journalists, and media organizations except a few didn’t take  any measures for the safety and testing of their employees.

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Naya Daur