Geneva, April 13: More than a thousand journalists have died from Covid-19 in 73 countries since the start of the pandemic, the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) announced in Geneva on Tuesday. Every day, more than 2.5 journalists die from the coronavirus on average.
From March 1, 2020 to April 10, 2021, at least 1,060 media workers died from Covid-19. The month of 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.
“The situation continues to deteriorate for the safety and health of journalists on the ground due to the pandemic. It is essential that media workers of all ages now have rapid access to immunization so that they can work without endangering their lives”, said PEC General Secretary Blaise Lempen.
An additional concern is that the age of victims is dropping, with nearly half of journalists dying from Covid between the ages of 40 and 60 in March 2021.
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 some countries, there is no reliable information.
More than half in Latin America
From March 1, 2020 to April 10, 2021, of the 1,060 journalists who succumbed to the virus, more than half died in Latin America, or 611 in 19 countries. Asia follows with 183 deaths in 17 countries, ahead of Europe (including Russia and Turkey) with 167 deaths in 19 countries, Africa with 52 deaths in 16 countries and North America 47 (2 countries).
The first three most affected countries are Latin American: Brazil has the highest number of victims, 172 dead, ahead of Peru which has 138 deaths linked to Covid-19, then Mexico which deplores at least 93 journalists who died from coronavirus.
India follows with 63 dead. Italy is the most bereaved European country with 51 journalist’s dead from the novel coronavirus. Bangladesh follows with 48 dead, ahead of the United States with 46 dead.
In Ecuador, 45 journalists died from the virus and in Colombia 40. Great Britain has 28 deaths linked to Covid, ahead of the Dominican Republic 27. Pakistan follows with 25 deaths, ahead of Turkey (22), Iran (21), Panama (16), Russia (15), Spain (15), Venezuela (15), Bolivia (14) and Ukraine (14). Argentina comes next (12) and Honduras (10).
In Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa, 9 victims were counted in each country. In Guatemala 8 journalists died. In France, and Nicaragua, 6 journalists died from Covid-19. Kenya, and Nepal deplore 5 deaths each. Paraguay and Uruguay follow with 4 deaths.
Three journalists died in each of these countries: Cameroon, Cuba, Morocco, Salvador, Sweden, and Zimbabwe.
Two deaths are known in the following countries: Algeria, Austria, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Portugal.
Finally, the PEC has identified at least one death in the following 28 countries: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czechia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Guyana, Iraq (Kurdistan), Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, and United Arab Emirates.
The origin of the infection is often difficult to determine, and it is not possible to differentiate journalists who become infected at work from those who have been infected in their private lives.