PESHAWAR: A senior journalist died of the novel coronavirus in Peshawar on Thursday.

Senior reporter Fakhruddin Syed, associated with a private news channel, was infected by coronavirus few days ago, was under treatment at Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC). The news channel said Fakhruddin used to perform duties voluntarily on Eid every year. His funeral prayer was held at Gulbahar No.2, Peshawar, at 11:00am on Thursday.

The HMC spokesman Toueed Zulfiqar said the journalist had been in home isolation after testing positive for the virus but was shifted to the hospital five days ago after his condition worsened. He was being treated with plasma donated by recovered patients and showed some improvement initially, but later on his condition worsened on Wednesday night and died during treatment at the hospital on Thursday. The deceased journalist has left behind a widow and two daughters.

Adviser to Chief Minister on Local Government Kamran Bangash has expressed grief and sorrow over the death of Fakhruddin Syed. He said Peshawar has lost a great and courageous journalist with the death of Fakhruddin. He remained busy in his duties of unveiling the truth and highlighting problems of people even during coronavirus lockdown. Mr Bangash said the services of Fakhruddin will be remembered for ever.

On April 27, Abdur Rashid Bhatti, a journalist associated with the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), died of coronavirus in Islamabad. Abdur Rashid Bhatti had previously served as president of the APP employees union.

Like other sectors of society, coronavirus has also impacted media organisations and several journalists have been tested positive for the virus. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) had recently issued a list of journalists infected with coronavirus.

According to the list, coronavirus has claimed the lives of three media persons in the country and infected 156 others. The report said camera journalists and photojournalists have been the biggest sufferers since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown situation has forced most of the journalists to work from home, but still there are some who had to go out to the field in search of stories and they remain exposed to the threat of coronavirus.