The Press Emblem Campaign, PEC had disclosed that at least 442 media workers in 52 countries have died from the novel coronavirus since early March 2020.
PEC revealed this in a press statement issued on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
The group also noted that 63 journalists have been murdered since January in various circumstances, which brings the total number so far this year at more than 500 fatalities.
“It is an extremely heavy and unprecedented toll. The safety of all journalists who work on the ground to inform on the pandemic is at stake. Many victims are young; they have been infected at work.
“As the second wave has just begun, we urge all stakeholders to better protect the media workers, without preventing them from doing their job”, said PEC General-Secretary Blaise Lempen.
The group noted that, “the actual figure is certainly higher, as some countries do not report the deaths of journalists or some of them have not been tested before dying.
“The statistic can be misleading because countries where there is information, are ahead, while in other countries there is no reliable information.
“In Great Britain and Nigeria, eight journalists have died in each country. Seven victims were counted in Afghanistan and Honduras, 6 in Nicaragua, 5 in Russia, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, then 4 in Colombia, France, and Spain.
“The count of the PEC is based on information from the local media, national associations of journalists, and regional correspondents of the PEC,” it added.
PEC also condemned the murder of 63 other journalists from January 1 to October 31, killed in attacks or violent incidents or in detention. This figure is a little lower to the number of victims recorded for the same period last year (68).