COVID: Which States Have Declared Journalists ‘Frontline Workers’?
Earlier, the Editors Guild of India had demanded that journalists be given priority in the COVID vaccination drive
As the second wave of COVID-19 rages across the country, several states, including Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar declared journalists as ‘frontline workers.’
Earlier, the Editors Guild of India had demanded that journalists be given priority in the vaccination drive against COVID-19 and had urged all media organisations to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of their members.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said that journalists were risking their lives while discharging their duties during this “dangerous period of COVID-19 pandemic”.
In a video statement posted on Twitter, the CM said, “Therefore, we have decided to declare all accredited journalists as frontline workers in Madhya Pradesh. They will be taken care of.”
According to an official from the public relations department, around 4,000 journalists are currently accredited with the state government, PTI reported. The official further informed that the administration was yet to decide on other modalities regarding this announcement.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also announced that all accredited and yellow card journalists will be included in the list of “frontline workers”.
The CM also decided to give protection to employees of power corporations, who are putting their lives at risk to provide power services to hospitals and other institutions.
On Sunday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced that journalists will be given the COVID-19 vaccine on priority in the state.
“All journalists accredited with the Information and Public Relations Department at the state level and also non-accredited scribes authenticated by the district public relations officers – from print, electronic and web media – will be considered as frontline workers for inoculation,” PTI quoted an official statement.
It added that they will be given COVID-19 vaccine on priority.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared working journalists of the state as ‘frontline COVID warriors’, PTI reported.
A statement by the CMO said that working journalists are doing ‘a great service to the state’ by providing seamless news feed and making people aware of COVID-related developments, ANI quoted.
“As many as 6,944 working journalists in the state have been covered under the Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana. They are getting health insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh each," the official statement said, ANI reported.
Odisha also announced ex gratia of Rs 15 lakh for the families of journalists who succumb to COVID-19.
A day after the Trinamool Congress won the assembly elections, party head and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday declared all journalists in the state as COVID warriors.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday, 4 May, said that all journalists would be regarded as frontline COVID workers in the state.
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