A senior cameraperson of a Tamil news channel succumbed to the coronavirus at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) on Saturday. Vel Murugan is the first person from the journalistsâ€™ fraternity to have succumbed to the virus in Tamil Nadu.
41-year-old Vel Murugan was actively making field visits to shoot news reports during the pandemic. The senior video journalist, however, fell sick and was tested positive for the coronavirus 15 days ago. He was then admitted for treatment at the RGGGH in Chennai.
On Saturday, he passed away after a 15-day battle.
Vel Murugan had worked as a cameraperson for over 20 years. The cameraperson worked at various Tamil television channels. His last stint was at Raj TV where he worked for 12 years, his friends said.
He also served as the camera person for the channelâ€™s Delhi bureau for a short while.
The Centre of Media Persons for Change recalled Vel Murugan as an affectionate person who helped many renowned journalists in their initial days when they entered the field as freshers.
Vel Murugan is survived by his wife and a son. His wife Shanmuga Sundari works as a contract nurse at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
State Fisheries Minister Jayakumar announced a solatium of Rs 50,000 and assured to provide a permanent job in the medical field for Shanmuga Sundari.
Condoling the death, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said, â€śI extend my deep condolence to the family members and media friends who have lost Vel Murugan. I kindly ask media professionals to be more careful.â€ť
DMK chief MK Stalin, sharing his condolence on Twitter, said, â€śIt is shocking and sad to know about the demise of Vel Murugan due to COVID-19. I extend my condolences. The frontline warriorsâ€™, media workers, should focus on the safety aspects.â€ť
In an obituary note, MDMK leader Vaiko expressing condolence to Vel Murugan family and friends said, â€śThe death of Vel Murugan has shown us that people working in media should work cautiously. The media houses and government should provide guidance on the safety measures to be taken by all the comrades in the media.â€ť
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswami also expressed his condolences to Velmurugan's family and announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh.