180,000 healthcare workers may have died due to COVID-19: WHO

180,000 healthcare workers may have died due to COVID-19: WHO

WHO chief Tedros called on countries to improve monitoring and reporting of infections

According to the WHO, 80,000 to 180,000 healthcare workers may have died due to coronavirus between January 2020 and May 2021.

WHO chief Tedros called on countries to improve monitoring and reporting of infections and deaths among healthcare workers while highlighting the fact that in Africa less than one in ten health workers have been fully vaccinated.

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WHO informed that according to data accessed from 119 countries, two in five health care workers globally are fully vaccinated, however, it added that the "average masks" huge differences across regions and economic groupings.

The WHO chief urged countries to "protect and support" healthcare workers and ensure safe working conditions for them including regular payment of salaries and pay equity.

The UN health body urged countries to "prioritise" coronavirus vaccines for healthcare workers.

"More than ten months since the first vaccines were approved, the fact that millions of health workers still haven’t been vaccinated is an indictment on the countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines," Tedros said.

Amid the large scale vaccination drive worldwide, Tedros highlighted the "harsh reality of vaccine inequity", saying that, "high- and upper-middle income countries have now administered almost half as many booster shots as the total number of vaccines administered in low-income countries."

Tedros said although 20 countries have pledged to donate over 1.2 billion vaccines to Covax, however, just 150 million doses have been delivered so far with "no timeline".

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"We cannot have equity without transparency," Tedros said as he asked manufacturers to "prioritise" contracts with Covax while asking for intellectual property rights waiver

"We are not asking for charity, we are calling for a commonsense investment in the global recovery," he said.

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