’55 journalists’ have died from COVID-19 across the world

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The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), a non-governmental organisation, says 55 journalists across 23 countries died from coronavirus between March and April.

This was released in a report issued ahead of the World Press Freedom Day scheduled for Sunday.

PEC had started a “corona-ticker” since March to pay tribute to the journalists who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The safety of media workers is particularly at risk in this crisis because they must continue to provide information on the ground and testify by visiting hospitals, interviewing political, economic and scientific officials, doctors, nurses and patients,” the report read.

“Coronavirus used as a pretext for many press freedom violations – at least 55 journalists across 23 countries have died from COVID-19 in two months.”

The report says Ecuador is the hardest-hit country with at least nine journalists deaths, followed by the US with eight, Brazil with four, Britain and Spain with three each.

In a report on March 18, 2020, it condemned measures taken by some governments to restrict or censor news “under the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Blaise Lempen, PEC secretary-general, had said: “International exchange of information and free flow of independent news are needed more than ever to fight the virus, and not fake news, ideological bias and political pressures. Targeting journalists in these very difficult times is a blow to informing the public about the evolution of the epidemic.”

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