Senior journalist from Assam, Nilakshi Bhattacharyya, who worked for Times of India in New Delhi, succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday morning.

Bhattacharyya’s husband, Kalyan Baruah, who’s Bureau Chief from Delhi of The Assam Tribune also tested positive for COVID-19 and is said to be in a critical condition.

Another senior journalist and Aaj Tak anchor Rohit Sardana died of a heart attack on Friday morning. He had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Delhi.

Meanwhile, at least 101 journalists have died due to COVID-19 in India from April 2020 till 28 April 2021.

According to a study by Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, of these deaths, 52 were reported in April 2021.

Additionally, over 50 journalists have passed away due to COVID-related complications since January 2021. The most recent one being senior journalist and Aaj Tak anchor Rohit Sardana. He passed away due to a heart attack on Friday after recovering from COVID-19.

According to IPS, top six states to record the highest journalist death due to COVID-19 are Uttar Pradesh (19), Telangana (17), Maharashtra (13), Odisha (9), Delhi (8) and Andhra Pradesh (6).

The data comes at a time when India saw 3,86,452 new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,87,62,976, while active cases crossed the 31-lakh mark. And 3,498 new fatalities, increased the death toll to 2,08,330.

The study, conducted by Rate The Debate, an initiative of IPS, New Delhi, found that in 2021, 56 journalists have succumbed to the virus from 1 January to 28 April, 52 of these deaths were reported in the month of April alone, implying that on an average, two journalists died every day this month.

Media organisations have been working incessantly since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in India, putting themselves in vulnerbale and dangerous situations to report and verify the groud reality of COVID-19 in the country.

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