The International Council of Nurses, ICN, has revealed that at least 90,000 healthcare workers worldwide have been infected with COVID-19.
It said the figure may be doubled as a result of continuing shortages of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE.
ICN further disclosed that the disease has killed more than 260 nurses.
Speaking with Reuters yesterday, Howard Catton, ICN’s Chief Executive Officer, CEO, charged authorities to make available more accurate records to help prevent the COVID-19 from spreading among staff and patients.
It recalled that last month 100 nurses died in the pandemic, adding that
“The figure for health care workers’ infections has risen from 23,000 to more than 90,000, but that is still an under-estimation because it is not (covering) every country in the world.”
He explained that the estimate of 90,000 is based on information collected on 30 countries from national nursing associations, government figures and media reports.
The ICN represents 130 national associations and more than 20 million registered nurses.
The CEO noted that 3.5 million cases of Coronavirus have been reported worldwide.
“If the average health worker infection rate, about 6 per cent we think, is applied to that, the figure globally could be more than 200,000 health worker infections today,” he said.
“The scandal is that governments are not systematically collecting and reporting on this information. It looks to us as though they are turning a blind eye, which we think is completely unacceptable and will cost more lives,” Catton, a Briton, added.
The ICN said that those “shocking” figures being announced by the World Health Organisation, WHO, is to significantly underestimate the reality.
“This failure to record both infection rates and deaths among health care workers is putting more nurses and their patients in danger,” it said.
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