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PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
GENEVA – The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has called on governments to record the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths among healthcare workers to help professionals working in “one of the most dangerous jobs in the world”.
According to ICN, based on data from National Nursing Associations, official figures and media reports, more than 600 nurses have now died from the virus.
ICN also said the figures indicate that more than 230,000 healthcare workers have contracted coronavirus.
ICN CEO Howard Catton urged countries to have systematic reports on Covid-19 cases among nurses and asked for a reliable central database.
”Without this data we do not know the true cost of Covid-19, and that will make us less able to tackle other pandemics in the future,” Catton said.
“Nursing is looking like one of the most dangerous jobs in the world at the moment. We need to get this data for every country and work out exactly what is going on that explains the variations that are evident with even a cursory glance at the figures. Only then will we be able to learn how best to keep our nurses safe and prevent any repeat of these terrible statistics in the future,” Catton said.
ICN’s analysis shows that on average 7 percent of all Covid-19 cases worldwide are among healthcare workers, which means that nurses and other staff are at great personal risk, and so are the patients they care for.
Extrapolating ICN’s 7 percent figure to cover all the world’s countries means that around 450,000 of the world’s over six million cases could be among health care workers.
In the UAE, there have been reports of nurses dying of Covid-19. Frontliners who died include Marlon Jimenea, 44, a Filipino nurse based in Sharjah.
Jimenea, who worked for the intensive care unit of a hospital in the emirate, died in late April after contracting the virus on April 5. He was believed to be the first Filipino frontliner to die of Covid-19 in the UAE.
Another Filipino nurse, Janette Alano died in May after being admitted to the hospital due to coronavirus. ICA/Expat Media
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