Indian States That Declared Journalists Frontline Workers With Priority For Vaccination

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Journalists Frontline Workers: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa declared that journalists are considered frontline workers and will receive priority vaccination against COVID-19.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also declared journalists frontline workers. The Chief Minister’s office said that the decisions will benefit 6,944 journalists. The journalists covered under Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana will get health insurance cover of 2 lakh rupees each. The next of kin of journalists who died of COVID-19 while working will be provided with 15 lakh rupees.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister-elect MK Stalin announced that journalists in Tamil Nadu will be treated as frontline workers. Journalists will be eligible for concessions given to frontline workers, such as priority COVID-19 vaccination.

Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal, and Uttarakhand had also declared journalists frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By declaring journalists as frontline warriors, the states will be providing journalists with priority for the COVID-19 vaccination program.

In April 2021, 52 journalists died in a period of 28 days. According to a study conducted by the Institute of Perception Studies, Delhi, 101 journalists died of COVID-19 between April 1 and April 28. According to BBC India Correspondent Soutik Biswas, 45 journalists lost their lives in the span of one week. The Press Emblem Campaign recorded that more than 125 journalists in India have died due to COVID-19. On average, 3 journalists die in India in a day.

On April 15, the Editors Guild of India had urged the government to declare journalists frontline workers and be allowed priority COVID-19 vaccination.

Uttar Pradesh showed the maximum number of verified deaths with 13 journalists who died of COVID-19. The data was collected by Rate The Debate, an initiative of the Institute of Perception Studies. Founder of Rate The Debate Dr Kota Neelima said that “The data you see is just about half of the data we’ve actually collected. We haven’t been able to verify the deaths, but the death has occurred.” She added that if there were 70 names on the list, then they had received more than 150 but were unable to verify them.