The Indonesian Television Journalists Association (IJTI) has announced that at least 96 journalists and electronic media workers have contracted COVID-19, prompting the group to establish a special task force to help curb the spread of infection among media workers.
The task force’s main duty was to compile a list of journalists who contracted the contagious respiratory illness, IJTI chairman Yadi Hendriana said. He said those wanting to report their possible exposure to the virus could fill out a form through https://forms.gle/pfHzEjBtRcoyGiwR9.
"The IJTI will pay the cost of PCR testing for TV journalists who do not receive such [testing] from their respective companies," Yadi said on Friday as reported by kompas.tv.
He urged media companies to prioritize the safety of their journalists by implementing strict health protocols.
The Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI) said separately that media companies were obliged to protect the health of their workers, as stipulated in Article 86 of the 2003 Manpower Law.
"The law states that every worker has the right to health protection," AJI chairman Abdul Manan said separately on Thursday, as reported by kompas.tv.
The AJI’s health protocols can be found at https://aji.or.id/read/buku/63/protokol-keamanan-liputan-pemberitaan-covid-19.html.
Previous reports revealed that over 50 journalists in Surabaya, East Java, had tested positive for COVID-19, with three succumbing to the disease, as the region emerged as a new epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
AJI Surabaya previously said reporters' failure to follow health protocols and media companies' reluctance to protect the health of their employees were among contributing factors to the spread of infection among media workers. (vny)