Indian states declare journalists as frontline workers

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Journalists working in Goa will be designated as frontline workers and will be vaccinated against Covid-19 soon, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said today.

“We have decided to vaccinate journalists and we will complete the procedure as fast as possible,” Sawant also said.

The decision by the Goa government follows a go-ahead by other states like West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, and Karnataka to vaccinate journalists against COVID-19.

READ ALSO: Where to donate for COVID relief in India

Yesterday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President and the Chief Minister in-waiting, M.K. Stalin, said media personnel will be considered as frontline workers and the necessary benefits will be extended to them.

In a statement, Stalin said the media is an essential part of democracy and it is fulfilling its duty of reaching out with the news to the people.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh made a similar announcement on May 3.

Power employees, along with the journalists, will now be eligible for all the benefits that the frontline workers are entitled to, including priority vaccination, the Chief Minister said at a high-level Covid review meeting.

Journalists have been taking grave risks in covering the pandemic from the ground and helping to spread awareness about the virus for the past more than a year, the Chief Minister said.

They need to be protected, he said, adding that though many states had raised the demand for their inclusion in the frontline workers category, the Government of India has not responded so far.

The Punjab government, therefore, decided to provide frontline protection to the journalists and also power corporation employees, who are also endangering their lives while maintaining critical power services in hospitals and other vital institutions.

READ ALSO: Railways deploy 2,670 Covid Care beds at railway stations

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