Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Amit Thackeray wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with a request to declare journalists/ reporters as ‘frontline workers.’ As per the letter, journalists and reporters are risking their lives to ensure that the citizens get uninterrupted news and information and so they must be declared as frontline workers.
The letter further highlighted that the move will enable the media personnel to be eligible to get vaccines and other facilities and compensations designated for frontline workers. On Wednesday, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis had made the same appeal. Fadnavis had also written a letter to ensure that the journalists are vaccinated on a priority basis.
States including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Odisha have already declared journalists as frontline workers. The West Bengal CM, on Monday said that journalists have been working as COVID warriors all these days. While, Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin said that the news correspondents have been working no matter under sun, rain, or floods. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan also added that the reporters are working risking their lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other than these states, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Manipur, and Karnataka will also take up the vaccination responsibility of the journalists. Maharashtra is one of the worst-hit COVID-19 states in the country and the letter comes on the day when the state declared an extension of lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, the state again recorded a rise in daily cases with 46,781 new COVID-19 cases and 816 more death. With this, the total tally has reached 5,226,710 while the death toll has mounted to 78,007. In last 24 hours, 58,805 recoveries were recorded taking the total recoveries past 4.6 million. Mumbai additionally witnessed a spike in cases with 2,104 new cases on Wednesday.
Maharashtra's healthcare system is also facing a solid challenge as the caseload is increasing day by day. The current lockdown-like curbs have been extended till June 1 in the state, as declared by Chief Minister.