The Press Emblem Campaign, PEC has disclosed that 133 journalists have died of COVID-19 within one month, totaling the deaths at 735.
PEC in a press release raised concerns over the increase in the number of deaths, saying “at the end of December, the PEC had counted 602 victims, the difference of 133 deaths in one month marks an acceleration in the number of deaths from Covid-19 (113 in December, 47 in November).”
PEC also disclosed that, “several deaths have occurred in the previous weeks and were registered only late. Of the January victims whose ages are known, half were over 60 when they died, the other half between 30 and 60 (4 between 30 and 40).|
Of the 735 journalists who have died from Covid-19 since March 1, 2020, Latin America leads with 375 victims. Asia follows with 148 dead, ahead of Europe 137, North America 39 and Africa 36.
The PEC deplores this large number of victims from the coronavirus and sends its condolences to families and colleagues. The PEC however wants countries to give media workers rapid access to immunization as they are more exposed.
Blaise Lempen, PEC Secretary-General said, “Because of their profession, journalists who go into the field to inform are particularly exposed to the virus. Some of them, especially the freelancers, cameramen and photographers, cannot only work from home
PEC noted that, “the actual number of victims is certainly higher, as the cause of death of journalists is sometimes not specified or their death not announced. In some countries, there is no reliable information.
“The origin of the infection is often difficult to determine, and it is not possible to differentiate journalists who have become infected at work from those who have been infected in their private lives.
The PEC tally is based on information from local media, national associations of journalists and regional PEC correspondents.”