In a situation that is slowly improving, Amnesty International has developed an investigation that shows unbelievable numbers. More than seven thousand health professionals have died worldwide after being infected with covid-19.
At the top of the list is Mexico, with at least 1,320 victims, followed by the United States (1077) and the United Kingdom (649), according to Amnesty International’s statement to which the Lusa Agency had access.
Nations such as India (573) and South Africa (240) “have had more cases in the last few months” of fatalities from infected health professionals, and they can quickly get behind the leaders of the table if they do not take preventive measures.
“The death of more than seven thousand people while trying to save other lives is a crisis on an impressive scale,” said Amnesty International’s Economic and Social Justice official, Steve Cockburn, adding that “every health professional has the right to to be safe at work and it is a scandal that so many are paying the highest price ”.
Steve Cockburn also warns that “so many months after the start of the pandemic, health workers continue to die at terrible levels, in countries like Mexico, Brazil and the USA”. The data show that job security is not being done successfully.
“The rapid spread of infections in South Africa and India shows the need for all states to act,” he points out.
“There must be global cooperation to ensure that all healthcare professionals receive adequate protective equipment, so that they can continue their vital work without risking their own lives,” concludes Steve Cockburn.
On July 13, Amnesty International released a report recording the deaths of more than 3,000 health workers by covid-19. In the most recent report, the increase is explained by an “increase in infection rates in several locations, as well as the availability of new data sources”. However, it is emphasized that the veracity of the investigation is subject to failures due to the different methods of collecting information.
“It is also likely that these figures correspond to a significantly lower estimate, thanks to the underreporting of cases by national authorities”, he adds.
The Amnesty International report also explores the situation of the pandemic in Brazil, where at least 634 health workers died infected with covid-19.
According to the Brazilian Association of Public Health (Abrasco), health professionals complain about the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the lack of clear protocols for the treatment of infections, the lack of mental health support or the precarious contracts for workers recruited on an urgent basis, the document reveals.
Amnesty International’s investigation was carried out by analyzing data on deaths among health professionals, obtained from various sources.
“The sources include obituaries, government figures, lists compiled by national medical associations and lists and obituaries published in the media worldwide,” explains the report.
The coronavirus pandemic that causes covid-19 has already killed at least 857,824 people and infected more than 25.8 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French AFP.
In Portugal, 1,827 people died from 58,633 confirmed as infected, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.