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PEC: Over 1,500 journalists died of Covid worldwide

  • Published at 04:05 pm June 7th, 2021
NGO Dozens of journalists die from coronavirus since March 1.JPG
File photo of Journalists wearing protective gear wait near a quarantined hostel, which was closed after residents reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Kiev, Ukraine April 28, 2020 Reuters

Bangladesh is among 10 most affected nation that saw deaths of 53 journalists 

The Covid-19 pandemic claimed the lives of more than 1,500 journalists in 77 countries around the world, according to the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC). 

Among them, over 200 journalists died in May this year, the Switzerland-based media rights and safety body said in a statement on Monday.

"More than six journalists on average died per day as a result of Covid-19 in May, a sad record," it quoted PEC General Secretary Blaise Lempen. 

Of those, at least 95 (three deaths per day) lost their lives in India where the pandemic peaked in infections and 26 in Brazil (almost one death per day), he said.

"Unfortunately, in developing countries, progress in immunization is insufficient for the pandemic to slow. Journalists remain a particularly exposed profession, on the front line, in the fight against the coronavirus," Lempen added.

The PEC welcomes the fact that authorities in some countries have taken steps to help the families of victimized journalists, which is recognition for their work in providing information during the pandemic. 

The organization also salutes the countries which have included journalists among the priority groups for immunization, thus preventing new infections.

The actual number of victims is certainly higher, as the cause of death is sometimes not specified, especially in Africa, and no reliable information is available in some countries, the statement says, adding that the statistics of journalists who died of Covid-19 depend heavily on media coverage.

Bangladesh among 10 most affected countries

According to the PEC tally of fatalities, Bangladesh is among the 10 most affected countries while the media in India have paid the heaviest price for the novel coronavirus, with at least 246 deaths since March 2020. 

Other sources in India report more than 400 deaths (including all workers in the media), with many deaths in rural areas difficult to verify.

Brazil followed India closely with 239 journalists, ahead of Peru 163 and Mexico 112. 

Following among the top 10 most affected countries are Colombia 65, Italy 58, Bangladesh 53, Ecuador 51, the United States 49, and Iran 32. 

Argentina and Great Britain both reported 30 deaths while Dominican Republic, Pakistan, and Turkey reported 27 fatalities.

Next come Russia 21, Venezuela 20, Nepal 19, Bolivia 18, and Panama 16.