Forest field staff in NE not in priority list of COVID vaccination drive (India)

By April 20, 2021Communities

Forest rangers on the frontline are susceptible to COVID but have not been listed as a priority grouping for vaccination. Image: As originally published by The Shillong Times

News Release, The Shillong Times | April 19, 2021

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The frontline forest personnel working in various Northeastern states stand vulnerable to COVID19 infection as they come into contact with tourists and wildlife buff coming to the region from outside while carrying out their official responsibility.

These forest staff have not been included in the priority list for vaccination against COVID19 to date in the region.

Internationally reputed wildlife conservation leader and a specialist in rhino conservation, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar has, therefore, exhorted upon all the state governments in North East India to provide vaccination to all the frontline forest staff against COVID19 infection at the earliest.

Dr Talukdar who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of bio-diversity research and conservation organization, Aaranyak, has observed that frontline forest staff entrusted to carry out extensive fieldwork in the protected areas stand vulnerable to COVID19 surge and hence should be accorded priority by the state governments of the region for vaccination against COVID19.

Meanwhile, Aaranyak as an organization has appealed to the Government of Assam to provide COVID19 vaccines to all the frontline forest staff in the state before the onset of the rainy season when they have to toil very hard to protect faunal ad floral resources fighting the prevalent adversity.