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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sanctioned an ex-gratia of Rs 15 lakh each for the families of two journalists who died of COVID-19 infection.

The two journalists, Priyadarshi Patnaik from Hinjili of Ganjam district and K Ch Ratnam of Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district succumbed to the disease earlier this month.

"We were having a difficult time after the death of my father. We thank the Chief Minister for supporting us," said son of Ratnam, K Ch Sekhar.

Son of Priyadarshi Patnaik, Akash said, "During this crisis time, the assistance has definitely helped us. The ex-gratia is also a token of respect for a journalist who works for the society."

In April, Odisha government had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh for families of all frontline workers like doctors and other health care professionals and later, promised a compensation of Rs 15 lakh to the next of kin of journalists who succumb to the infection.

On the other hand, teachers in Ganjam have also demanded due recognition for their colleagues engaged in making arrangements for migrant workers at COVID-19 quarantine centres and temporary medical centres (TMCs), set up in schools.

While the Ganjam administration has already feted some teachers who lost their lives in the fight against the pandemic as 'COVID Warriors', the State government is yet to make any such assistance for them.

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Odisha Coronavirus Update: Cases Cross 30K-Mark, 10 More Succumb

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