State Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said that the Karnataka government has declared all journalists in the state as frontline activists and would consider them for priority vaccination against COVID-19.
The move comes amid an increase in coronovirus cases in the state – 44,631 cases were reported today with 20,870 cases in Bengaluru alone.
The Chief Minister said in a tweet today, “Our government has decided to consider journalists as Morcha activists and prioritize vaccination against Kovid-19.” Journalists will get the vaccine pill free.
Our government has decided to consider journalists as front-line activists and prioritize vaccination against Kovid-19.
– BS Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) May 4, 2021
The chief minister, however, told journalists not to cover up the incidents, causing fear among the people. Yeddyurappa said after a special cabinet meeting, “There is a state of health emergency in the state as well as in the country. It is the responsibility of the media to point out the flaws and shortcomings but constantly showing an issue will instill fear in the people.”
Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh are some other states that have declared journalists Kovid warriors and have announced various benefits for them, including priority vaccination against coronovirus.
States have said that journalists are taking serious risks covering the epidemic from the ground, and they need to be protected from the virus.
The Union Health Ministry today said that Karnataka, along with Maharashtra and Delhi, is among the 10 states that account for 71.71 percent of the country’s 3,57,229 new COVID-19 cases.
Today the State Kovid Ministerial Task Force met, during which various other decisions like medical oxygen and lack of beds were taken to deal with epidemics and address problems. It was decided that ministers would be appointed to oversee oxygen and remedieswear supplies, bed availability and Kovid call centers and war rooms.
Many hospitals in Bengaluru are sending appeals for oxygen, some of them even asking patients who have already been admitted.
Amid widespread demand to consider journalists as frontline workers and give them preference in vaccination, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday quoted a report as saying that 165 Indian journalists have so far lost their lives to Kovid.