GENEVA 

At least 127 journalists in 31 countries have died due to the novel coronavirus over the past three months, the Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said Tuesday.

“Media workers play an important role in the fight against the novel coronavirus. They have to inform about the spread of the disease,” said PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen in a statement.

“A number of them died for lack of adequate protective measures when doing their job.”

According to a count by the NGO, between March 1 and May 31, at least 127 journalists died due to COVID-19. Around two-thirds of them were on duty.

In May alone, 72 victims were counted.

By region, Latin America was the most affected continent with at least 62 journalists, followed by Europe with 23, Asia 17, North America 13, and Africa 12.

Peru is the country with the highest number of victims, 15, followed by Brazil and Mexico with 13 victims each, and 12 in Ecuador.

There were 12 victims in the US and eight in Russia and Pakistan each.

Next in line comes the UK with five, Bangladesh with four deaths, then three deaths each in Bolivia, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Italy, and Spain.

Two victims were identified each in Algeria, Colombia, Egypt, Sweden, and one in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, and Zimbabwe.

Several hundred other media workers tested positive for the virus, and some media had to be temporarily closed.

The PEC said its count is based on numerous sources, including national associations of journalists, local media, and PEC correspondents worldwide.

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