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Journalists are ‘Covid warriors’ in these states only, read more

The nation in the pandemic has seen the worst and the best of humanity. Just like the virus mutating and developing itself, people across the country have strengthened their fight against it. From doctors to police to forces to journalists, everyone is trying their best to keep up with the raging fight and without a shadow of a doubt, each one of the ‘Covid Warriors’ should be given their due credit. 

As India reported 4,01,078 new infections in the least 24 hours, the cumulative caseload in the country now stands at 2,18,92,676, said the Union health ministry on Saturday morning.

The fourth pillar of democracy, the media has stood up again, where a section of media professionals are relentlessly working on the ground to bring fact-checked authentic reports to the forefront. They risk their safety in the process and hence, the due credit or their hard work should be given.

The Press Council of India (PCI)on Thursday restated its recommendation to the Centre and state governments that journalists should be included in the category of ‘COVID warriors’ and also given insurance cover.

Here’s a list of states that have declared journalists as frontline workers:

Odisha:

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has declared the working journalists of the state as frontline ‘Covid-19 warriors’. The chief minister said journalists are doing a great service to the state by providing seamless news feed and making people aware of coronavirus-related issues. 

“The decision will benefit 6,944 working journalists of the state. It may be mentioned here that as many as 6,944 working journalists of the state have been covered under Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana. They are getting health insurance cover of ₹2 lakh each,” the statement added.

Going one step further, Odisha has also announced an ex gratia of Rs15 lakh for the next of kin of journalists who die of Covid-19 while performing their duty. 

Tamil Nadu:

Tamil Nadu chief minister-elect M K Stalin announced that journalists working amid the pandemic in the state will be considered as frontline workers. 

“All media persons working in newspapers, visual and audio media at the risk of their lives due to rain, sun and floods will be considered as frontline employees in Tamil Nadu,” the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief announced on Twitter.

West Bengal:

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced journalists as Covid warriors. 

“Journalists have taken risk and worked on the field all these days like other Covid warriors. I declare you Covid warriors too. Let the Chief Secretary note this down. I am still the chief minister since I have not resigned as per rules before taking oath again,” she added.

Uttarakhand:

On April 3, the Uttarakhand government had declared journalists as frontline workers and announced Covid-19 vaccination for all of them without any age restriction.

Madhya Pradesh:

Madhya Pradesh declared journalist accredited with the state government as frontline workers. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said journalists are risking their lives while doing their duty during this “dangerous period of Covid-19 pandemic”.

Bihar:

The Bihar government has also declared journalists as frontline workers and will get Covid-19 vaccination on a priority basis.

An official statement said all the journalists accredited with the Information and Public Relations Department at the state level and also non-accredited scribes authenticated by the district public relation officers, from print, electronic and web media, will be considered as frontline workers for inoculation.

Punjab:

The Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab on Monday also announced that all accredited and yellow card journalists in the state will be regarded as COVID frontline warriors.

Uttar Pradesh:

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday declared that journalists and media professionals and their families would be given priority in the COVID vaccination drive in the country.

 Delhi:

Joining the league, the Arvind Kejriwal government on Friday also declared that all journalists and media personnel in the national capital will be provided COVID-19 vaccines for free at their offices.

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