Geneva/ Guwahati: Working journalists across the world are falling preys to Covid-19, where Brazil (175 dead), Peru (139) and Mexico (104) are leading the list of casualties among journalists due to novel corona virus infection aggravated ailments. Among Asian nations, India and Bangladesh are contributing a greater number of scribes to the pandemic victims’ list.

Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the Switzerland based media rights & safety body reveals that the global tally of journo-victims due to Covid-19 ailments nearly touches 1100 in 75 countries since the pandemic broke out in March 2020. The billion plus nation of India is occupying fourth position in the victim’s list with 69 media casualties.

Italy (51 dead), Bangladesh (51), USA (47), Ecuador (45), Colombia (44), United Kingdom (28), Dominican Republic (27), Pakistan (25), Turkey (22), Iran (21), Panama (16), Venezuela (16), Argentina, Russia, Spain (15 each), Ukraine (14) etc are placed accordingly in the list, prepared by the team of PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/). Expressing apprehensions that the situation may deteriorate for the safety of journalists on the ground due to the corona-pandemic, PEC general secretary Blaise Lempen advocates for adequate compensations to the victim families and early vaccinations to media workers of all
ages so that they can perform their duties as corona warriors after the doctors, nurses, sanitation workers etc without endangering precious lives.

India, even after the launching of a massive corona-vaccination program covering around 123 million people till now in the backdrop of around two million reported infections every day, witnesses the loss of two journalists to Covid-19 complications within two days. Lucknow based journalist Tavishi Srivastava (73), who worked for The Pioneer, died on 18 April. On the previous day, another Uttar Pradesh journalist Vinay Srivastava (65) succumbed to corona-ailments. Bangladesh reported its 51st corona-victim among media persons as Cox’s Bazar based journalist Nazrul Islam Bakshi (56) died on 18 April in Vellore (India). Bakshi arrived at CMC hospital for his wife’s treatment and later tested positive for corona infection. Same day, prominent cine-journalist Shafiuzzaman Khan Lodi (65) died while
undergoing corona-treatment in Dhaka on 17 April.

“India may increase the number of media corona-victims as various States like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana went on under-reporting about the actual figures because of various reasons,” said PEC’s country representative Nava Thakuria adding that in many cases the media houses did not report about their own positive cases to avoid unwanted interventions from the authority under relevant health protocols.

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