Geneva/Guwahati: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to kill working journalists around the world, where the global tally reaches at least 1302 victims in 76 countries till 11 May 2021. Brazil with 191 journo-casualties because of novel corona virus infection aggravated ailments still tops the list of victims among journalists narrowly followed by India (171 dead). In the south Asian country, at least 40 journalists died of Covid-19 complications in the last 10 days.
According to Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the Switzerland based media rights & safety body, Peru follows India with 140 media-casualties and Mexico with 109. Below the hundred mark, Colombia lost 57 journalists due to the pandemic, followed by Italy (55), Bangladesh (52), USA, Ecuador (48 each), United Kingdom (28), Dominican Republic (27), Pakistan (26), Turkey (25), Argentina (23), etc.
Since March 2020, the PEC started a corona-ticker to pay tributes to the journalists died of Covid-19 around the world, said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch/) adding that journalists have an important role to play in the fight against the virus and hence their safety must be a priority for every nation.
“Journalists are particularly at risk in this crisis as they are continuing their jobs to provide information from the ground. A number of them died for lack of adequate protective measures when performing their duties. We advocate for early vaccinations to journalists on the frontlines and also adequate compensations to the victim families,” stated Lempen.
India is rapidly losing scribes to the pandemic almost four individuals per day, which is alarming, said Nava Thakuria, PEC’s country representative adding that the billion plus nation has lately
witnessed the demise of journalists Sarat Chandra Mangaraj, Kishore Ch Das, Waqar Wizvi, Arvind Shukla, Umashankar Santhalia, Sant Sharan Awasthi, Vipin Chand, Subhash Mishra, Kaleswaram Sandeep, D Shankar Rao, Rajendra Joshi, Pradeep K Sahu, Shesh N Singh, etc to corona-aggravated ailments.
Relatively fewer corona-casualties among journalists are reported from Iran, Russia (21 each), Venezuela (19), Panama (16), Spain, Ukraine (15 each), Bolivia, Egypt (14 each), Honduras (11), Afghanistan, Nigeria, South Africa, France (9 each), Guatemala (8), Nepal, Nicaragua (7 each), Uruguay (6), Kenya, Paraguay (5 each), Cuba (4), Cameroon, Morocco, Salvador, Sweden, Zimbabwe (3 each), Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ghana, Iraq, Indonesia (2 each), etc.