According to a new Amnesty International report, globally, more than 7,000 health workers have died after contracting COVID-19. Mexico has registered the highest number of health worker fatalities, with a total of 1,320 deaths. The report states that in Mexico, hospital cleaners are particularly at risk.
According to Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice, “For over 7,000 people to die while trying to save others is a crisis on a staggering scale. Every health worker has the right to be safe at work, and it is a scandal that so many are paying the ultimate price.”
“Many months into the pandemic, health workers are still dying at horrific rates in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and the [U.S.]“, he continues, “while the rapid spread of infections in South Africa and India show the need for all states to take action.”
Speaking about the way forward, Cockburn explains, “There must be global cooperation to ensure all health workers are provided with adequate protective equipment so they can continue their vital work without risking their own lives.”
Although the figures in the analysis are stark, the authors of the report remind us that “These figures are likely to be a significant underestimate, due to underreporting by many of the countries included in the analysis.”