World, Europe

Over 600 journalists died of COVID-19 in 10 months

Geneva-based NGO says journalists in field, particularly freelancers and photographers, are vulnerable to coronavirus

Peter Kenny  | 05.01.2021 - Update : 05.01.2021
Over 600 journalists died of COVID-19 in 10 months


More than 600 journalists died of COVID-19 in 59 countries over 10 months in 2020, the Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said Tuesday.

That was 60 a month, or two known deaths a day on average throughout the world.

“Of the 602 journalists who have died from COVID-19 since March 1, Latin America led with more than half of the known victims, or 303 deaths,” said the PEC.

Asia followed Latin America with 145 deaths, ahead of Europe 94, North America 32, and Africa 28.

“Because of their profession, journalists who go into the field to testify are particularly exposed to the virus.

“Some of them, especially freelancers and photographers, can’t work from home,” said PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen.

The NGO said it deplores the many preventable deaths.

When necessary, it supports requests for financial assistance for the families of journalists who have died from the novel coronavirus.

The PEC also believes that media workers covering those suffering from COVID-19 should have priority access to immunization upon request.

Peru remained the country with the heaviest death toll, as 93 media workers have died from the coronavirus since March, according to the Peruvian National Association of Journalists. Brazil was second with 55 victims, ahead of India with 53 deaths and Mexico 45.

Ecuador followed them with 42 deaths and Bangladesh 41.

Italy is the most bereaved European country, with 37 journalists having died of COVID-19.

The US has counted 31 victims of COVID-19 in the media and Pakistan has chased it with 22 fatalities, followed by Turkey 17, Great Britain 13, Panama 11, and Bolivia nine deaths.

Afghanistan, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, and Russia each have eight victims, followed by Argentina, Colombia, Honduras with seven deaths in each country.

In Nicaragua, Spain, and Venezuela, six journalists died in each country, while in France, five COVID-19 deaths were announced.

Three journalists died from COVID-19 in Cameroon, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Nepal, Salvador, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

There were two deaths known in Algeria, Indonesia, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, and Sweden.

The PEC identified at least one death in Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Uganda, Tajikistan, Togo, and Uruguay.

In December, Brazil recorded the largest increase of more than 12 in one month, and Mexico had 11.

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