Geneva/ Guwahati: More than a thousand journalists died of corona-complications in 74 countries since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic confirming the casualty of over two scribes per day. Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the Switzerland based media rights body, confirms that at least 1063 media persons died from Covid-19 since 1 March 2020.
“Last month (March 2021) was particularly deadly with 93 journalists deceased from the coronavirus, or three per day. The situation has worsened particularly in Brazil, with one journalist dying every day,” said Blaise Lempen, general secretary of PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/) adding that the situation continues to deteriorate for the safety of journalists on the ground due to the pandemic.
Lempen, a journalist by profession, also expressed concerns that the age of victims is dropping, with nearly half of journalists dying from the infection in last month remained between the ages of 40 and 60. He also admitted that the total number of media-victims is certainly higher, because ‘the cause of death of journalists is sometimes not specified or their death not announced’.
The PEC team pursues for alertness among media persons as they are playing the role of corona warriors after the doctors, nurses, sanitation workers etc. It advocates for adequate compensations to the victim families and early vaccinations to media workers of all ages so that they can continue working without endangering their precious lives.
Out of the corona journo-casualties, more than half died in Latin America (over 610 deaths in 19 countries). Asia follows with over 180 deaths in 17 countries, ahead of Europe with over 165 deaths in 19 countries, Africa with over 50 deaths in 16 countries and North America over 45 in two countries. The first three most affected countries are Latin American namely Brazil (topping the list of victims with 173 dead), Peru (138) and Mexico (93).
India follows with 63 dead among journalists where Italy is the most bereaved European country with 51 casualties. Bangladesh follows them with 48 dead, ahead of the United States (47), Ecuador (45), Colombia (40), United Kingdom (28), Dominican Republic (27), Pakistan (25), Turkey (22), Iran (21), Panama (16), Russia, Spain, Venezuela (15 each), Bolivia, Ukraine (14 each), Argentina (12), Honduras (10), etc.
Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa recorded at least 9 journo-victims each, where Guatemala lost 8 journalists to Covid-19. At least 6 journalists died in France and Nicaragua. Nepal and Kenya deplore 5 deaths each. Paraguay and Uruguay follow with 4 casualties. Cameroon, Cuba, Morocco, Salvador, Sweden, Zimbabwe lost 3 journalists each. At least 2 deaths are reported in Indonesia, Algeria, Austria,
Ghana, Kazakhstan, and Portugal.
Finally, the PEC team identifies at least one death in Japan, Israel, Switzerland, Poland, Canada, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Chile, Czechia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Guyana, Iraq (Kurdistan), Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, etc.
Even though the Indian authority has launched a massive corona-vaccination program covering nearly 80 million people till now, the populous country has lost at least seven journalists to corona aggravated ailments since 1 March last, said Nava Thakuria, PEC’s country representative adding that the south Asian nation lately faces an upcharge of Covid-19 cases with daily infections to over 150,000 individuals.
He also recorded the name of Indian victims as Noida based Kapil Datta (65 years old), Aurangabad based Padma Shri Fatima Zakaria (85), Mumbai based Sabaji Mohan Palkar (45), Lucknow based Pramod Srivastava (48), Jalgaon-Mumbai based Kailassinh Pardeshi (55), Bhopal based Kamal Dixit (65) and Jaipur based Sanjay Bohra (50), who succumbed to corona infection in the last two months.