GENEVA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- At least 127 journalists have died of COVID-19 between March 1 and May 31 this year around the world, according to a count by the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC).
In a press release issued Tuesday, the Geneva-based NGO said that among the 127 deaths, around two-thirds were on duty.
"Media workers have an important role to play in the fight against the new virus, they have to inform about the spread of the disease. A number of them died for lack of adequate protective measures when doing their job," said PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen.
The PEC said that its count was based on the use of numerous sources: national associations of journalists, local media and PEC correspondents around the world.
According to the count, Peru is the country with the highest number of victims (15). Brazil and Mexico come second and third, with both 13 victims. There are 12 deaths of journalists in the United States, five in both Russia and Britain.
By region, Latin America was the most affected continent, with at least 62 journalists killed by the virus, compared with Europe's 23 victims, Asia's 17, North America's 13 and Africa's 12.
Founded in June 2004 by an international group of journalists, the PEC is a non-governmental organization with special consultative United Nations status, whose aim is to strengthen the legal protection and safety of journalists in conflict zones, areas of civil unrest, or on dangerous missions.