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Nearly 1k media staffers infected with coronavirus

30 Jun 2020 Afghanistan Times

AT News KABUL: A research conducted by the NAI, supporting the open media in Afghanistan, has showed that at least 953 Afghan media workers have been infected with Coronavirus since the virus has spread countrywide. According to NAI, six media workers have lost their lives battling the virus. Head of the NAI, Mujib Khilwatgar said that the true numbers of the infected media employees may have been higher than the available tally. To avoid the infection of the media workers, he called on the government to make ways of sharing information from distance throughout online system. Khilwatgar also urged the media runner to pay serious attention to their employees and observe measures to combat the virus. Despite a large number infection among the media staffers, he said that some media outlets have not paid the legal privileges of their employees. “During the covid-19, the situation has been worsening,” he said. “Some media outlets fired their staff and some asked them to work from home with a half payment.” Rashid Kashifi is one of the journalists who have not been paid for nearly four months. “During the coronavirus spread, it has been more than three months that I haven’t been paid,” he said and added, “I haven’t paid the rent of the house for months.” But head of the NAI said that the suspension in payment of some media workers is due to the lack of enough budgets of the media. This comes as the government tried to revise the amendment of mass media law, aiming to improve the situation of the media staff but the revision faced widely criticism by the Afghan media outlets. The Afghanistan ministry of public health recorded 279 covid-19 patients during the past 24 hours. At least 12 patients died and 197 others recovered. The total tally of the patients surpasses 31,000.

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