Geneva/ Guwahati, 24 April 2021: India is fast losing working journalists to Covid-19 and crosses 100 mark till date where the global tally hits 1175 scribes in 76 countries. The country lately starts losing three journalists every day. Brazil continues to be the worst affected country with 181 media corona-casualties followed by Peru (140) and Mexico (106), stated the Switzerland-based media rights & safety body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC).
India, which witnessed the death of nine journalists due to novel coronavirus infection aggravated ailments in the last three days, is just behind of Mexico with 101 casualties since the pandemic broke out in March 2020. The nation with a billion-plus populace comes far ahead of Italy (52 dead), Bangladesh (51), USA (47), Colombia (47), Ecuador (46), United Kingdom (28), Dominican Republic (27), Pakistan (25), Turkey (22), Iran (21), etc.
Expressing apprehensions that the situation may worsen for the safety of journalists on the ground due to the corona-pandemic, Blaise Lempen, general secretary of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch/pec-news.shtml), advocates for adequate compensations to the victim families. He also emphasizes early vaccinations to media workers after the doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, etc without endangering their lives so that they can perform their duties as corona warriors.
Even after the launch of a massive corona-vaccination program covering around 13 million Indian citizens India till now in the backdrop of around three million reported infections every day mounting its cumulative Covid-19 cases to over 16 million (total casualty crosses 190,000).
Reported names of recent corona-victims include Shailesh Raval (Gujarat), Sopan Bongane, Ashok Tupe, Motichand Bedmutha (Maharashtra), P Tataiah, Chandrashekar Naidu, Srinivasa Rao (Andhra Pradesh), Ashish Yechury, Chanchal Pal Chauhan (New Delhi), Chinta Naga Raju, Ramachandra Rao (Telangana), Govind Behera, Manoj Kumar Sahu, Karunakar Sahu, Naresh Behera (Odisha), Jodu Chutia (Assam), etc.
“India has the probability to increase the number of media corona-victims as a number of States went on under-reporting about the actual figures because of various reasons,” commented PEC’s country representative Nava Thakuria adding, in many cases even the established media houses had not reported about their own corona-positive cases to avoid unwanted interferences from the authority under the health protocols.