Nearly 500 journalists in 56 countries have succumbed to COVID-19 since March 1, said Switzerland based international media rights body, Press Emblem Campaign.

The media Rights body further added that in month of November only, at least 47 media persons succumbed to novel corona virus infection related ailments around the world.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is claiming more and more lives from the media industry. It’s a huge loss. In countries like India, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, the number of victims among journalists is on the rise,” said PEC general secretary Blaise Lempen.

Blaise Lempen added that Latin America is leading with more than half of the victims followed by Asia with 125 deaths, Europe with 38 deaths, North America with 26 deaths and Africa with 24 deaths.

Also read: Tripura journalist dies of COVID19

Peru remains the country with the heaviest death toll, where 93 media workers have died of COVID-19. India is now the second worst affected country with 51 deaths.

Brazil took third place with 43 victims ahead of Ecuador (41), Bangladesh (39), Mexico  (33), USA (25), Pakistan (12), Panama (11), UK (10), Nigeria (8), Afghanistan, Dominican Republic & Honduras (7 each), Argentina, Nicaragua & Venezuela (6 each), Colombia, France, Russia & Spain (5), Italy (4).

“India lately lost journalist Rajiv Katara (60), who died of COVID-19 aggravated ailments while undergoing treatment at a New Delhi hospital on November 26,” said Nava Thakuria, PEC’s India representative.

Earlier, Noida based scribe Pankaj Shukla (50) succumbed to COVID-19 complications on November 20 at JP hospital.

Prior to him, Haryana based journalist Rakesh Taneja (51) also died of COVID-19 at a Faridabad hospital on November 16.

With surging casualties, the pandemic has also crushed the mainstream media industry to a larger extent.

Many print media owners have stopped publishing physical newspapers and shifted to the digital space.

Some print houses closed down their editions in different places, reduced pages, cut salaries and even lay-off employees including senior journalists citing the reason of shrinking advertisement revenues.

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