Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses profound grief over the demise of a media corona-warrior from Orissa, who breathed his last on 11 July 2020 at KIMS Covid hospital in Bhubaneswar.
Priyadarshi Patnaik (46), who used to work for Oriya (Odia) daily newspaper Dainik Samaj as a correspondent from Hinjili area under Ganjam district, tested positive for Covid-19 few days back. Days back, a New Delhi based scribe (Tarun Sisodia of Dainik Bhaskar) killed himself undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Tested positive for novel corona virus infection, the young scribe succumbed to injuries on 6 July. The married scribe was under tremendous stress because of losing job as the pandemic continues to hit the media industry.
Earlier, the printer-publisher of Asomiya Khabar (Rantu Das) died of heart-failure at a Guwahati based hospital on 3 July, who later tested positive for Covid-19. Chennai based news videographer E Velmurugan, Hyderabad based television scribe Manoj Kumar, Agra based print journalist Pankaj Kulashrestha and Kolkata based photojournalist Ronny Roy succumbed to Covid-19 complications.
Now over one hundred Guwahati based media employees, working for various news papers, news channels and news portals, are reportedly infected with the virus as they continue working as corona-warriors after the doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police personnel, etc to contain the outbreak of Covid-19. As the worrisome development is not properly reported by the mainstream media outlets, JFA urges everyone to be cautious and careful in safeguarding themselves.
“A compulsory Covid-19 screening of all media employees by the respective managements becomes the need of the hour to prevent the pandemic outbreak,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that State chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma should support the initiative at the earliest.