A total of fifty-five media practitioners drawn from across 23 countries hit by the novel coronavirus have succumbed to the ravaging pandemic in the last two months, a report has revealed.
According to a latest report compiled by the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) ahead of yesterday’s annual World Press Freedom Day commemorations, many journalists have contracted and, subsequently succumbed to Covid-19 as many of the scribes lack proper protection.
The report however conceded that it remained unclear if the deceased scribes had become infected while on the call of duty.
The deaths were recorded since March 1 to date.
PEC opines that:
“Journalists are at great risk in this health crisis because they must continue to inform, by going to hospitals, interviewing doctors, nurses, political leaders, specialists, scientists, patients.”
PEC also said that in a range of countries “indispensable protective measures” like physical distancing, quarantines and mask wearing had not been applied, especially early on in the outbreak.’
The PEC report also identifies Ecuador as the hardest-hit country with at least nine journalists having died of coronavirus. In the United States, eight journalists succumbed to coronavirus while Brazil recorded four deaths from the pandemic.
Britain and Spain lost three journalists each.
The late Zimbabwean journalist Zororo Makamba is the only known media practitioner who died of coronavirus in the southern African country. On Sunday, Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day.