PEC Announces Growing List of Dead Journalists from COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Geneva, Switzerland, based non-governmental organization, Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), says over 1,754 media workers in 80 countries have died from Coronavirus (COVID-19)  in the 18 months since the start of the pandemic, indicating that the list of journalists dying from COVID-19 is growing rapidly.

PEC revealed that during the months of July and August 2021, at least 117 more journalists died from the coronavirus, an average of two per day, adding more deaths have been seen around the globe, from the Philippines to Algeria, from Indonesia to Russia, from Brazil to the United States, and from Cuba to Bangladesh.

PEC General Secretary, Blaise Lempen, who made the disclosure on September 2, 2021 in Geneva said “Journalists on the ground remain one of the most exposed professions. The number of registered victims has slowed down since June, but the vaccination rate remains insufficient in many countries.”

“Some politicians, but also the media continue to spread false information, at a high cost, as in the United States, where three-star presenters opposed to vaccination died in August from the virus, two in Florida and one in Tennessee”, he added.

Given the new variants of COVID-19, PEC warns that the number of journalists who would die from COVID-19 is likely to reach the 2,000 mark by the end of the year. The average age of victims is now younger.

Brazil has the highest number of victims with at least 280 journalists dead from the virus, ahead of India with at least 270 victims. After an explosion of cases in these two countries in the spring, the situation has fortunately stabilized this summer.

Three Latin American countries follow: Peru (164 dead), Mexico (120) and Colombia (77). In Bangladesh, 65 journalists died from COVID-19, in Italy 59 and in the United States 55.

Among the 25 countries most affected, in Venezuela at least 53 deaths of journalists were counted, Ecuador 51, Argentina 43, Indonesia 41, Russia 33, Iran 32, Great Britain 31, Dominican Republic 28, Pakistan 27, Turkey 27, Bolivia 20, Nepal 19, Honduras 18, South Africa 18, Egypt 17, Panama 16 and Spain 16 as well. The list of 55 other countries where deaths have been reported can be found on the PEC website.

By region, Latin America leads with 920 media workers dead from COVID-19, more than half of the total, ahead of Asia 485, Europe 206, Africa 86 and North America 57.

The total number of victims is certainly higher, because the cause of death of journalists is sometimes not specified or their death not announced. In a few countries, there are no reliable statistics.

The sources of the PEC are the national associations of journalists, the local media, the regional correspondents of the PEC and social networks.

The list of journalists victims of COVID-19 can be assessed online at: www.pressemblem.ch.