The victim was later cleared of Covid-19.
The mayor of Weligama alleges that Hiru TV and Derana TV journalists have unlawfully entered the house of the suspected Covid-19 victim and filmed the premises causing shock and distress to family members.
“By the powers vested to me under the Urban Council Act of 1987 (255) section (4), I am hereby banning the unauthorised entry of any media personal into the private vicinities of suspected Covid 19 cases,” said Mayor Rehan D.W Jayawickreme in a strongly worded letter to channel heads of Derana TV and Hiru TV.
TV channels in Sri Lanka have been heavily criticised for criminalising Covid-19 victims by their coverage.
“It is of paramount importance to note that our country along with the rest of the world is going through turbulent times due to this disease but it is only in Sri Lanka that I have seen patients been treated as criminals,” says Mayor Jayawickreme.
The politician believes that such a environment has been created by journalists who broadcast recordings of pandemic victims and their families without consent.
Although Sri Lankan journalists in print media have been issued with a code of ethics, the broadcast industry doesn’t have any known guidelines.