According to the World Health Organization, one in seven cases of COVID-19 reported to them is health workers. The agency has further mentioned that in some countries, it’s worse, with the figures being one in three.
The figure comes in the backdrop of the global 30 million COVID-19 related cases. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Globally, around 14% of COVID cases reported to the WHO are among health workers and in some countries, it’s as much as 35%.”
The plight of healthcare workers
The health workers are not just subjected to the risk of infection, but they carry the extra baggage of stress, discrimination, violence, and stigma. Since the safety of patients and health workers are two sides of the same coin, the latter needs to be guaranteed for the betterment of the former. However, Guy Ryder, director-general of the U.N.’s International Labour Organization (ILO), said that those guarantees are “missing.”
Coronavirus and the mental state of healthcare workers
The frontline workers are subjected to witness extreme human pain, sometimes helplessly watching people die because there’s nothing they can do. Watching a fellow worker getting infected, falling ill, and worst succumbing to the infection deeply affects doctors, WHO said.
“the one that really weighs on health workers most of the time in these situations – is the chance they could take that disease home to their families, to their friends, to their children.”
-Mike Ryan, WHO emergency chief
The data is limited when it comes to exact figures regarding the number of health works affected, and the source of their infection, whether in the workplace or from communities. “Around 14% of COVID cases, globally, reported to the WHO are among health workers, and in some countries, it’s as much as 35%,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
WHO on nurses
The International Council of Nurses, a Geneva-based Association, mentioned in a statement that more than a thousand nurses have died after being infected with the virus. The WHO, expressing concern, demanded the frontline medical workers be provided with sufficient protective equipment to prevent infection and stop them from spreading the virus to their friends and families.
“Treat doctors as Martyrs”
The figures by the Indian Health Ministry on Coronavirus in Parliament did not mention the death of healthcare workers due to COVID-19. Further, MoS Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated no insurance compensation data available as the public health care centers and hospitals come under the states. The Indian Medical Association reacted sharply to the scenario by presenting a list of 382 doctors who died due to the virus and demanded the center to treat them as “Martyrs.”
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