Alert that Peru is the second country in the world with the most journalists killed by COVID
Through a letter addressed to the Ministry of Health (Minsa), the National Association of Journalists of Peru – ANP (Asociación Nacional de Periodistas del Perú) reiterated the “request for vaccination of journalists, photojournalists, cameramen and other media workers.”
This insistence is carried out at the moment when the ANP registry marks the number of 161 journalists who died from COVID, of which 79 were infected during informational activity.
In this sense, the union told the ministry that the situation “is catastrophic in the sector, especially in regions.” The document states that “Peru is the second country in the world with the most journalists killed by COVID only after Brazil”, reason why it puts the documented data of each case for the consideration of the Team of Experts that monitors the National Vaccination Plan so that it can weigh the seriousness of the situation.
Likewise, the ANP recalls that, in a letter sent on February 10, it expressed its surprise to observe that media personnel were not included among the essential sectors of the vaccination plan. At the same time, it reiterates that, for reasons specific to the activity, those who work reporting have a high exposure to the risk of contagion and transmission of the virus.
“From the ANP, in addition, we allow ourselves to underline that other countries have already prioritized journalists in the vaccination processes as essential workers,” they express to later review the cases of the United States (states of Colorado and Virginia ), Brazil (Alagoas state), Somalia, Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Chile, which have already integrated the media sector among the priority groups to receive the vaccine. “And there are applications in progress in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic.”
The letter also states that “the International Federation of Journalists, a global organization that represents more than 600 thousand journalists in 150 countries, has sent a communication to its ministry, dated February 23 of this year, requesting to address the need to include within of the priority groups those who, since the beginning of the pandemic, have been carrying out essential, priority and strategic tasks”.
“The ANP, and its 109 provincial branches, as well as other trade unions and professionals in the sector, we have expressed our willingness to articulate with the Regional Health Directorates throughout the country to carry out the process in a concerted manner.”
Finally, it highlights that the illness or death of a journalist not only translates into a moment of pain for the family and the union, as it also damages the citizens’ right to information.
“Just as the State has called us an essential service in a pandemic context, we also demand that they consider us as an essential service when it comes to protecting the life and health of those who have the responsibility to inform.”
National Secretariat of Communications