Video journalist Jitendra Debbarma Credit: EastMojo Image

Agartala: A 46-year-old videographer from Tripura became the first journalist casualty after succumbing to Covid-19 on Tuesday. The state health department has reported at least 135 new cases, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 2,612.

Jitendra Debbarma, video journalist with a local cable television channel, was admitted to the Khumulwng Hospital, 25-km from Agartala, after experiencing respiratory distress and other symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

Debbarma was associated with cable TV channel ‘Chini Khorang’ — a local Kokborok — also understood as the lingua franca of most of Tripura’s 19 tribal communities.

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Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb reacted to Debbarma’s passing on Twitter.

“Chini Khorang video journalist Jitendra Debbarma has passed away after being affected by coronavirus. I am deeply saddened by the demise of this young video journalist. I offer respects to the departed soul, condolences to the bereaved family members”, Deb wrote on his social media account.

Several media organizations, as well as the Agartala Press Club expressed their condolences and offered prayers for Debbarma’s family.

Managing director of Chini Khorang, Ranjit Debbarma, told reporters that Jitendra had tested positive for the virus on Monday.

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“After developing COVID symptoms and respiratory problems on Monday night, Jitendra was rushed to the Khumulwng hospital situated at the headquarters of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC). He was put on oxygen support by the doctors, but his condition deteriorated this morning and he later lost his battle with the virus”, Ranjit said.

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According to government figures, a total of 328 people have died of the coronavirus in Tripura so far.

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