COVID-19: India Loses Most Journalists Among Asia, With 54 Casualties

India leads among Asian countries in COVID-19 death toll of journalists, with 54 casualties since the global pandemic broke out last March.

The media community has lost 735 personnel in all due to the novel coronavirus infection, across 63 countries, according to Switzerland-based media watchdog Press Emblem Campaign (PEC).

Bangladesh has reported 44 journalist deaths, Pakistan 23, Afghanistan 9, Nepal 3, Indonesia 2, Japan 1.

“Of the 735 journalists who have died from COVID-19 since March 1 last year, Latin America leads with 375 victims. Asia follows with 148 deaths, ahead of Europe (137), North America (39) and Africa (36),” said PEC secretary-general Blaise Lempen.

As for individual countries, Peru has the heaviest death toll with 95 media personnel succumbing to the deadly virus. Mexico (84) and Brazil (77) follow.

Italy, with 44 casualties, is the most bereaved European nation.

Among other countries, Ecuador lost 42 mediapersons, United States 38, Britain 22, Turkey 21, Ukraine 14, Russia 12.

Condemning the loss of lives, PEC has observed that the actual number of victims is higher, as the cause of death of journalists is sometimes not specified and, in some countries, there is no reliable information.

“India has shown improvement in casualties of mediapersons in the last one-and-half month with only one dead (Marathi scribe Nandkumar Sonar, who died on 24 January),” said Nava Thakuria, PEC’s India representative.

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