India has emerged as the second most Covid-19 affected nation in the world to lose 141 journalists, almost four scribes per day, even as the global tally reached 1,248 scribes in 75 countries due to corona complications since March 2020, when the pandemic hit the human race.
Brazil with 188 media corona casualties remains at the top of the victims’ list, whereas Peru (140 dead) is just behind India. Mexico reported 109 corona-victims among journalists till date, followed by Italy and Bangladesh (52 each), Colombia (51), USA and Ecuador (47 each), United Kingdom (28), Dominican Republic (27), Pakistan (26), Turkey (24), Argentina, Iran, Russia (21 each), Venezuela (17), Panama (16), Spain, Ukraine, (15 each), Bolivia, Egypt (14 each), Honduras (10), Afghanistan, Nigeria, South Africa, France (9 each), Guatemala (8), Nepal, Nicaragua (7), etc.
The Switzerland-based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), which has been counting the name of media-victims of the pandemic, has insisted early vaccinations for journalists on the frontlines. It regretted that the human cost of the pandemic among media persons has remained high.
“Journalists are engaged in a profession which is particularly exposed to the virus and it’s an unprecedented loss to the profession as a number of them died for lack of adequate protective measures when doing their job. But the media workers have an important role to play in the fight against the virus. Hence their safety should be a priority as they have to continue providing information from the ground,” said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC.
India lately lost a number of prominent journalists, includiing Bh Ramakrishna, Arun Pandey, Ruchir Mishra, Subhransu Sekhar Mishra, PL Razdan, Sumit Onka, Prabhu Joshi, Ram Naresh Tripathi, Raju Salvi, Satya Prakash Aseem, Shashi Baliga, Pritiman Mohapatra, SK Vyas, Anirban Bora, Kanu Priya, Kalyan Barooah, Adwaita Prasad Biswal, Debendra Samantray, Ramendra Singh, etc. to corona aggravated ailments in different parts of the country.
“Casualty among media persons due to Covid-19 complications in India must be higher than we have recorded. In many cases the media houses avoid reporting their own victims or do it with lots of secrecy,” said Nava Thakuria, PEC’s country representative, adding as India is now losing four journalists every day, wondering if the trend would continue.