Defence Ministry requests media to respect privacy of COVID-19 patients

Kamal Gunaratne - Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka

The Defence Ministry yesterday requested print and electronic media to respect the privacy of COVID-19 infected patients and refrain from broadcasting or publishing homes of patients or visits by public healthcare personnel.

Some TV channels have shown the tracing of COVID-19 suspects and visits by Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) and Police officials during news telecasts, other news related programs, in news and feature articles in newspapers.

Appreciating the critical role played by media personnel in educating the public on the COVID-19 pandemic, Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said protecting patients’ privacy is important to encourage patients to come forward for testing, the Defence Ministry said in a statement. The Ministry is also of the view that covering such events would also cause inconvenience to health officials on duty. Therefore, the Defence Secretary requests media institutions to educate respective journalists to refrain from accompanying health officials tracking coronavirus suspected persons or videoing such events and also to respect the privacy of patients and people who are being directed to quarantine centres.

(Source: Daily FT)

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