Half-a-dozen journalists fall prey to medical shortage in Lucknow

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Shortage of ventilators, oxygen cylinders and hospital beds has led to the death of over half-a-dozen journalists in Lucknow in the past 10 days.

All these scribes had to struggle for hours to get admitted to the hospitals after they developed COVID symptoms.

Some of them arranged for oxygen cylinders on their own but, could not get ventilator support.

Sacchidanand Gupta of ‘Jadeed Amal’, an Urdu newspaper, passed away on April 14 because he could not get ventilator support on time.

Vinay Srivastava, a veteran journalist, kept tweeting to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his media advisors for medical assistance as his oxygen levels kept going down, but help came only after he passed away.

Tavishi Srivastava, the political editor of ‘Pioneer’, could not get admitted to a hospital after she complained of breathless.

For hours on April 18, her colleagues tried to arrange for an oxygen cylinder and medical aid. Finally, a senior journalist from Delhi managed to get her admitted to the King George’s Medical University, but it was already too late as she passed away hours later.

Pawan Mishra, a young journalist, died two days ago. His family claims that he needed ventilator support but never got one.

Ankit Shukla, 32, died earlier this week of Covid while Waseem left for another world on Wednesday.

Pramod Srivastava, 48, the newly elected member of the UP State Accredited Journalist Committee 2021, elections for which were held on March 21, died last month due to Covid.

At least a dozen journalists at present are Covid infected and battling for better medical facilities.

More than 20 family members of scribes are also hospitalised at currently.

Journalists’ unions are now demanding that beds should be reserved for scribes and the state government should also recognise them as Corona warriors.

The President of UP State Accredited Correspondents’ Committee, Hemant Tiwari, has written a letter to the Chief Minister, seeking compensation for journalists who have lost their lives to Covid.

Meanwhile, a senior government official said that it was near impossible to arrange for beds “for anyone, leave alone journalists”.

“The situation is critical and we all have to put up with it till the infrastructure is expanded,” he said.