Authors call on WHO to track, post nation-by-nation numbers showing impacts on health personnel
A paper published today in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases provides information for the first time on the toll of COVID-19 on health care workforces across 37 countries. The data, from the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa and Middle Eastern nations highlight gaps in access to personal protective equipment, training, and in protocols for donning and doffing protective gear, the authors say.
The data, collected from July 22 to August 15, from a survey launched by the authors among members of the Infectious Diseases International Research Initiative, show numbers of health personnel infections and deaths from countries that include the United States, where the collected data show more than 114,000 health workers, including doctors, nurses and other medical staff had by then been infected with the coronavirus, and 574 had died, Bangladesh, where data reported more than 7000 had been infected and 82 health workers had lost their lives, and Mexico where numbers reported showed more than 78,000 health workers had been infected and 1,162 had died.
The authors, Hakan Erdem, M.D. of the Infectious Diseases International Research Initiative, and Daniel R. Lucey, M.D., MPH, FIDSA, who first wrote about the novel coronavirus for Science Speaks on Jan. 6 and has covered the origins, toll and research developments of the pandemic in 54 posts here since, call on the World Health Organization to collect and post information on health worker infections and deaths from WHO’s 200 member states on COVID-19 information web page.