The Geneva-based non-governmental organization, Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), has announced that more than 127 journalists in 31 countries died from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in three months, between March 1 and May 31, 2020.
Disclosing this in a press release issued in Geneva on June 2, 2020, PEC noted that Latin America is the most affected region.
PEC Secretary-General BlaiseLempen said: “Media workers have an important role to play in the fight against the new virus, they have to inform about the spread of the disease. A number of them died for lack of adequate protective measures when doing their job.”
According to a count by the Geneva-based NGO, around two-thirds of them died on duty. It said in the month of May alone, 72 victims were counted, an average of more than two per day.
PEC believes the actual figure is certainly higher, as according to it, journalists who died during this period have not been tested (for example, they died of a heart attack, which may be related to Covid-19) or their deaths have not been publicly announced.
By region, PEC noted that Latin America was the most affected continent, with at least 62 journalists killed, ahead of Europe 23 victims, Asia 17, North America 13 and Africa 12.
The nation of Peru recorded the highest number of victims (15), followed by Brazil with 13 victims, Mexico (13), just ahead of Ecuador (12). However, for Ecuador much higher figures have been circulated.
The United States follows in 5th place, with 12 victims, ahead of Pakistan (8). Russia recorded the same number of victims as Great Britain, 5 in each country.
Next in line comes Bangladesh with 4 deaths, then 3 deaths in each of Bolivia, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Italy and Spain.
Two victims were identified in Algeria, Colombia, Egypt, Sweden and one victim in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, and Zimbabwe.
With several hundred other media workers testing positive, some media had to be temporarily closed.
The PEC count is based on the use of numerous sources including from national associations of journalists, local media, and PEC correspondents around the world.
To review the list of victims please visit www.pressemblem.ch.