– globalbihari bureau
Guwahati: Local media reports reveal that a senior journalist of Orissa (Odisha) died of novel coronavirus infection on July 13, 2020 to increase the tally of Covid-19 victims in the State media fraternity up to three. Simanchal Panda (63) from Balipadar village in Ganjam district, who used to work for an Odia weekly magazine, breathed his last at a hospital. His son Asit Panda also died of Covid-19 complications few days back.
Earlier two Oriya (Odia) journalists namely K.C. Ratnam and Priyadarshi Patnaik succumbed to the virus infections on July 12 and 11. Ratnam (72) used to work for the Hyderabad based Telugu daily Eenadu and Patnaik (46) worked for Oriya newspaper Samaaj and both died in Bhubaneswar while undergoing treatments. Meanwhile, senior video journalist M Parthasarathy (46), who worked for a Telugu news channel in Andhra Pradesh, died of Covid-19 complications on July 12.
New Delhi-based scribe Tarun Sisodia, who worked for Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar and tested positive for Covid-19, killed himself undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on July 6. The printer-publisher of Asomiya Khabar (Rantu Das) died of heart-failure at a Guwahati hospital on 3 July, who later tested positive for Covid-19.
Chennai-based news videographer E Velmurugan, Chandigarh-based news presenter Davinder Pal Singh, Hyderabad-based television scribe Manoj Kumar, Agra-based print journalist Pankaj Kulshrestha and Kolkata-based photojournalist Ronny Roy earlier succumbed to Covid-19 complications.
Lately over one hundred Guwahati based media employees, working for news papers, news channels and news portals, tested positive for the virus infection as they continue working as corona-warriors. But shockingly the worrisome development has not been properly reported by most of the city-based mainstream media outlets.
Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing shock and grief over the increase of casualties among media persons due to the Covid-19 pandemic in different parts of the country, has urged every scribe to be cautious and careful in safeguarding themselves and their families while performing their duties.
“For how many casualties the newspapers and news channels are waiting for? It is our duty and responsibility to report correctly about the media Covid-19 warriors as they are working in a pandemic along with the doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police personnel etc,” said JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that respective managements should arrange the necessary screenings for their employees.