The Editors Guild of India on Thursday urged the Union government to declare journalists as frontline workers and ensure priority vaccination for them amid a rise in coronavirus cases.
In a statement, the Guild said news organisations have been relentlessly covering the pandemic, elections, and other current affairs in an effort to ensure that the flow of news and information to readers continues unabated.
"News media is included in essential services. Therefore, it will only be fair that journalists be given this cover of protection, especially in the face of the number of infected rising to astronomical levels," the statement said.
The Editors Guild of India (EGI) urges the Union government to declare journalists as frontline workers and they be allowed priority vaccination against coronavirus, along with other frontline workers, it said.
Without the protection of vaccination, media persons are finding it very difficult to discharge their professional responsibilities, the Guild pointed out.
The EGI said therefore, it calls upon the Union government to immediately get all journalists, regardless of age, vaccinated so that there is no disruption in their work during this critical time.
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Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Central government to relax the COVID-19 vaccination age criteria. The Aam Aadmi Party chief had urged the Centre to provide vaccination but this time for the journalists.
The CM said, "Journalists are reporting from most adverse situations. They should be treated as frontline workers and should be allowed vaccination on priority. Delhi government is writing to centre in this regard."
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The Uttarakhand government too has declared journalists as "frontline workers" and announced COVID-19 vaccination for them without any age restrictions.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister's office, CM Tirath Singh Rawat has ordered to set up a vaccination centre for journalists in every district in the state.
"During the ongoing pandemic, the journalists in the state worked like frontline workers in providing the required information to the people about Covid-19 which helped the government significantly," Rawat had said.
India saw its highest single-day rise of 2,00,739 COVID-19 infections, pushing the country' tally of cases to 1,40,74,564, according to official data released on Thursday.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)