Thirty three employees of “Daily Thanthi”, a leading Tamil daily, tested positive for Covid-19 and have been admitted to a private hospital in a Chennai suburb.
While the management has refused to confirm the news, state health authorities said it was true. Many employees, including sub-editors and reporters, stay in a dormitory style accommodation in the daily’s campus and also in rented buildings. The infection reportedly spread from a mess supervisor, who was the first to come down with symptoms.
When the supervisor tested positive for COVID-19, the management reportedly sent him to his home at Tiruchy, where he died on Sunday. Subsequently, as other employees, who were in contact with him, also showed symptoms, they were tested for coronavirus and the results came out to be positive.
The management shifted them to SRM Hospital at Kaattankalathur, just outside Chennai, where they have been admitted in the Covid ward. “While many city based reporters are working from home for the past two months, there are about 130 staffers who lived in the company given accommodation. Now all of them have been tested and except these 33, the rest have tested negative,” said a senior reporter of the daily.
A month ago, after a reporter and cameraman of Sahtyam TV came down with the virus, another 32 persons working in the channel tested positive. Subsequently, the newsroom and live telecast of the channel was suspended for a fortnight.