Special task force formed in Indonesia after at least 96 journalists contract Covid-19

Over 50 journalists in Surabaya, East Java, had tested positive for Covid-19.
Over 50 journalists in Surabaya, East Java, had tested positive for Covid-19.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Indonesian Television Journalists Association (IJTI) has established a special task force to help curb the spread of the coronavirus infection 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 virus.

He urged journalists who might have been exposed to 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," Yadi said on Friday as reported by kompas.tv.

He urged media companies to prioritise 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.

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.