Imphal: Manipur government Wednesday declared journalists working in the state as frontline Covid warriors prioritizing their inoculation for Covid-19.
The Chief Minister said that the government is aware of the risk involved in collecting and disseminating news to the public at this time of the pandemic. Coronavirus is highly contagious, and working journalists may get exposed to the virus any time in the cause of their professional activities, he pointed out. As such, the Government feels that it is important to take up necessary measures for their personal safety considering the invaluable service rendered by the media fraternity to society.
“The second wave of the pandemic has already started affecting many people in the State, and one cannot predict with certainty how long it would last. At this difficult time, the media fraternity have a very crucial role in fighting the pandemic by circulating authentic information to the public,” the Chief Minister observed.
Director (IPR) would co-ordinate with journalist bodies and tie-up with the State Mission Director (NHM) for the vaccination drive.
Apart from Manipur, several states like Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala too have prioritised vaccinating journalists, declaring them frontline workers. Although the Maharashtra government has not made any such announcement on journalists, Maharashtra Minister Balasaheb Thorat on Tuesday said he has written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging him to consider journalists as frontline workers to ensure that they get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to a study conducted by the Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, as many as 101 journalists have succumbed to COVID-19 between 1 April, 2020 and 28 April, 2021. With agency inputs