The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting has confirmed that the government is indeed concerned about journalists in the midst of this pandemic. For journalists, the government has announced launching a mobile application that will provide corona-affected media-persons the ability to register themselves and their families for greater support. It is positive to note that the government is concerned for all those under threat by the coronavirus while dispensing with their daily duties. The only question mark now remains over how exactly the government will be using the app to safeguard journalists, especially those that are reporting on the pandemic.

In all likelihood, those that have are suspected or test positive with the virus will be extended immediate support, which will be very helpful. This will assist in the registration of cases in media persons for isolation at an early stage, alongside the obvious advantage of catching the illness sooner rather than later. However, the government could broaden the ambit of this application by extending registration to all journalists, and allowing for an information database to be created, which not only provides helpful guidelines on protection, but also informs journalists where and when the virus is hitting hardest. This might prove to be beneficial for the government in its own data-mapping as well.

Perhaps the government will elaborate a little more on the specifics of the application, which will clarify what the next steps will be. Now that this decision has been confirmed by the government, a logical next step to protect journalists would be to provide personal protective equipment to all those covering the disease on the frontline, to avoid a large incidence of cases in the first place. This might be a little difficult, but is very necessary to prevent further spread of the virus.