Coronavirus pandemic

Indonesian task force to tackle virus spread among journalists

JAKARTA • The Indonesian Television Journalists Association (IJTI) has established a special task force to help curb the spread of Covid-19 among media workers after at least 96 journalists and electronic media workers contracted the disease.

IJTI chairman Yadi Hendriana said the task force's main duty was to compile a list of journalists who are infected with the coronavirus.

He urged journalists who might have been exposed to the virus to fill out an online form provided by the organisation.

"The IJTI will pay the cost of PCR testing for TV journalists who do not receive such (testing) from their respective companies," Mr Yadi said last Friday as reported by Kompas TV.

He also asked media companies to prioritise the safety of their journalists by implementing strict health protocols.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) said separately that media firms 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 last Thursday, as reported by Kompas TV.

Previous reports revealed that over 50 journalists in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, had tested positive for Covid-19, with three succumbing to the disease, as the region emerged as a new epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

AJI Surabaya previously said reporters' failure to follow health protocols and media firms' reluctance to protect the health of their employees were among the contributing factors to the spread of the virus among media workers.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2020, with the headline Indonesian task force to tackle virus spread among journalists. Subscribe