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.