Odisha: 4 journalists succumbed to Covid in April so far
At least four journalists in Odisha succumbed this month to Covid-19, amid the second wave of the disease.
Amjad Badshah, 45, died on Sunday afternoon after battling the virus for 18 days after testing positive on April 7. He worked for several TV channels and also wrote for fortnightly news magazine Down to Earth. He was also consulting editor for NFTV Media, a firm established in July last year.
Two days earlier on Friday, two journalists from Ganjam district succumbed to the disease. One of them, 25-years old Govinda Behera, a resident of Kukudakhandi block, was employed with news portal News 6; while the second victim, Manoj Sahoo, a resident of Chikiti block, was a reporter for Odia daily ‘Nitidin’.
Behera was first quarantined after showing Covid symptoms and then admitted to the Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati (MKCG) Medical College & Hospital in Berhampur town after testing positive. He died later in the day after his oxygen level dropped. Fifteen minutes after his death, his uncle too succumbed to the virus.
Manoj Sahoo also died while being treated at the MKCG Covid Hospital. The same day, 46-year-old Jatish Khamari, reporter of Odia daily Sambad in Balangir district, too succumbed to Covid in a private hospital in Bhubaneswar.
Last year, four journalists, including a Bhubaneswar TV channel reporter, succumbed to Covid. The Naveen Patnaik government later gave ₹15 lakh ex-gratia to the families of three deceased journalists.
According to the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), since the beginning of March last year, 585 journalists have died in 57 countries due to Covid. India is the second-most affected with 53 deaths, preceded only by Peru with 93 deaths.
On Sunday, Vivek Bendre, The Hindu’s senior Mumbai-based photojournalist, succumbed to Covid. Early this week, Chanchal Pal Chauhan of Economic Times too fell to the disease. In Puducherry, K Dharmaraj alias Bharath (34), a video journalist with Polymer TV died due to Covid-19 on Thursday.