At least 20 journalists have died from the coronavirus outbreak in Peru, most of them infected while reporting on the pandemic, often with little protection, the country’s journalists’ union reported Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
Peru is Latin America’s second worst-hit country after Brazil with more than 170,000 cases and 4,600 deaths.
A member of the National Association of Journalists Zuliana Lainez disclosed that as of June 1, 2020, the number of dead colleagues in the country is 20.
Many of them contracted the disease while reporting from streets, markets and hospitals on the effects of the virus, without proper protective equipment, Lainez said.
Seven of the victims were from Loreto, in the Amazon basin, one of Peru’s worst affected areas.
A large proportion of journalists who fell victim to the virus were freelancers, with none of the protections afforded to company employees.
The Union said Journalists dying from the COVID-19 confirms the urgency of addressing health protection and job insecurity.