For ensuring safety in terms of health for those engaged in COVID-19 frontline activities, the Madras Reporters Guild has urged the Tamil Nadu government to provide a comprehensive scheme of proper personal protective gear (PPE), frequent testing, and medical insurance cover.
The frontline workers include journalists and their families, nurses, doctors, police officers, paramedical staff, government officials, and NGOs involved in relief operations.
R Rangaraj, President, Madras Reporters Guild stated that in vulnerable times like these, it is easy for the government to announce a dole of a few lakhs in cases of deaths, due to a pandemic. “However, the need of the hour is to take major steps for preventing the spread of the virus among media personnel, government staff, police personnel, and doctors who are working at the frontline,” he said.
He added that for enrollment in the medical insurance scheme, the option of not choosing it should also be open to employees if they have sufficient cover under the medical scheme of their respective institutions.
“A comprehensive medical insurance scheme should be implemented for reporters since many journalists from Tamil Nadu have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days.
“The Tamil Nadu government should undertake a war-like effort to protect the lives of all the workers engaged at COVID-19 hotspots, and also their families,” according to the Guild.