Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing shock and grief over the increase of casualties among media persons due to the COVID-19 in different parts of the country, urges every scribe to be cautious and careful in safeguarding themselves and their families while performing their duties.
Local media reports reveal that a senior journalist of Odisha died of COVID-19 on July 13, increasing COVID-19 fatality tally of the state media fraternity up to three.
Simanchal Panda (63) from Balipadar village in Ganjam district, who used to work for an Odiya weekly magazine, breathed his last at a hospital.
His son Asit Panda also died of COVID-19 complications a few days back.
Earlier two Odiya journalists- K Ch Ratnam and Priyadarshi Patnaik succumbed to the virus infections on July 12 and July 11.
Ratnam (72) used to work for the Hyderabad-based Telugu daily Eenadu and Patnaik (46) worked for Odiya newspaper Samaaj and both died in Bhubaneswar while undergoing treatment.
Meanwhile, senior video journalist M Parthasarathy (46), who worked for a Telugu news channel in Andhra Pradesh, died of COVID-19 complications on July 12.
New Delhi-based scribe Tarun Sisodia, who worked for Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar killed himself while undergoing treatment after testing positive for COVID-19.
The printer-publisher of Asomiya Khabar, Rantu Das, died of heart failure at a Guwahati hospital on July 3 July and he also later tested positive for COVID-19.
Chennai-based news videographer E Velmurugan, Chandigarh-based news presenter Davinder Pal Singh, Hyderabad-based television scribe Manoj Kumar, Agra’s print journalist Pankaj Kulashrestha and Kolkata’s photojournalist Ronny Roy earlier succumbed to COVID-19 complications.
Lately, over one hundred Guwahati-based media employees, working for newspapers, news channels and news portals, tested positive for the virus infection as they continue working as corona-warriors.
But shockingly, the worrisome development has not been properly reported by most of the city-based mainstream media outlets.
“For how many casualties the newspapers and news channels are waiting for?” questioned JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
“It is our duty and responsibility to report correctly about the media COVID-19 warriors as they are working in a pandemic along with the doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police personnel etc,” they further said.
“Respective managements should arrange the necessary screenings for their employees,” they added.