Amid surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country, several states have declared journalists as frontline workers for priority vaccination.
In April, the Federation of All India Medical Association wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to declare media professionals as frontline workers which gained support from many including Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“Journalists cannot work from home, and have put their lives and health at risk on a daily basis to cover both the Covid-19 pandemic and other matters of public concern, including matters critical to health and safety of the public, and critical to our democracy,” read the association’s letter.
India on Tuesday logged 357,229 fresh cases of coronavirus infections and 3,449 new fatalities in a span of 24-hours.
Here’s a list of states that have declared journalists as frontline workers:
- West Bengal: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday declared 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.
2. Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu chief minister-elect M K Stalin on Tuesday announced that journalists working amid the raging coronavirus (Covid-19) 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.
3.Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh declared media professionals accredited with the state government as frontline workers. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said journalists were risking their lives while doing their duty during this “dangerous period of Covid-19 pandemic”.
4.Bihar: The Bihar government has decided to give status of frontline workers to the journalists who 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.
5.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.
6.Odisha: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday declared 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. 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.