Seventy-six journalists have contracted coronavirus across the country according to the Federation of Nepali Journalists’ recent study.

The infected journalists are from six provinces as there is no journalist infected in Sudurpaschim till date.

As per the FNJ, Province 1 reported 13 infected journalists — 12 from Morang and one from Udayapur. Province 2 has the highest number with 28 journalists.

Of them, 13 are from Parsa, four from Bara, two from Dhanusha, three from Saptari, three from Sarlahi and one each from Mahottari, Rautahat and Sunsari districts.

Fifteen journalists tested positive for the virus in Bagmati Province. Among them, nine are from Kathmandu, two each from Lalitpur, Makawanpur and one each from Nuwakot and Kavre.

Seven journalists from Nawalpur and one from Kaski district of Gandaki Province have contracted COVID-19.

Province 5 reported 11 journalists with the virus. Among them, two are from Banke, one from Bardiya, one from Kapilvastu and two from Rupandehi. Karnali Province has only one infected journalist.

FNJ General-Secretary Ramesh Bista said some of the infected journalists had recovered, while others were undergoing treatment.

Demanding free PCR tests for journalists, Bista likened journalists to health workers and security personnel working in the frontline. “As the government has shown little interest in addressing problems faced by journalists, we decided to bring some programmes to help journalists infected with the virus.”

The FNJ, according to Bista, has decided to create a fund of Rs 10 million to support infected journalists. Nepali journalists living in various foreign countries are contributing to the fund, which is likely to be activated within a couple of months, informed Bista.

FNJ has also urged all mediapersons to adhere to health safety measures and observe adequate precautions against the infection while discharging their duties.

Bista also said that around 20,000 journalists across the country had received insurance from various FNJ branches in the country.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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