The figure “has risen from 23,000 to we think more than 90,000, but that is still an underestimation because it is not (covering) every country in the world,” Howard Catton, the ICN’s head, told Reuters.
The numbers provided by the group were based on data from national nursing associations, government releases, and media reports in 30 countries.
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But the actual figure of infected health professionals could be up to 200,000, the organization calculated from the average infection rate of six percent for medics and the current 3.5 million cases of Covid-19.
The number of fatalities among nurses has also spiked from 100 in early April to over 260, according to the group’s data.
The highly contagious nature of Covid-19 and shortages in protective gear, experienced by even the wealthiest nations, has seen numerous medics becoming patients since the start of the pandemic in China’s Wuhan in December.
In many cases, they had the disease in a harsh form and died from the complications it caused.
Coronavirus in the UK
A total of 201,101 people in the UK have tested positive for the virus.
An elderly person with underlying health issues became the first person in Britain to die having been diagnosed with the disease, Royal Berkshire NHS Trust confirmed on March 5. Since then, a total of 30,076 people have died.
Police have been handed unprecedented powers to force those at risk of coronavirus into quarantine amid fears that two GPs may have passed the virus on to patients.
Everyone in the UK must now stay at home, Boris Johnson has urged, as he implemented the biggest restriction of civil liberties “in peacetime”.
Earlier this week, Spain – where the epidemic is now in remission – said that out of its 250,000 infections 43,956 or 18 percent were among health workers. The mortality rate among medics was put at 0.1 percent.
Italy, the first European country to take a heavy coronavirus blow in early April, reported more than 100 doctors succumbing to the disease.
The US said last month that it had only lost 27 medics to Covid-19. But those numbers are apparently incomplete as the National Nurses United group reported at least 48 nurses have died. The health workers are in danger.
The Guardian paper, which keeps track of fatalities among the medics during the pandemic, also insisted that the actual number of deaths is “far more” than the official data suggested.
There are no government statistics in the UK, but the information on fatalities among the NHS staff is being gathered by several local media outlets – including the BBC, which reported more than 100 deaths in late April.
Russian medics are keeping track of their losses themselves. The list on a special website created to commemorate the medics who died due to Covid-19 currently consists of 113 names.
Health professionals in most countries sounded alarmed and even protested the lack of personal protective equipment – from masks to full-body gowns.
RT with additional input from GVS News Desk