Pathetic Work Conditions and Vulnerability to Infection: Accounting for the Deaths of 7,000 Health Workers Amid the Pandemic

7,000 healthcare workers have died due to the coronavirus infection globally, can we afford to lose the frontline warriors who are battling the crisis?

Discarded Coronavirus PPE medical kit

The entire global community is presently facing amongst the hardest of times trying to negotiate between splurging infections and death rates due to the coronavirus infection and coming to terms with what has often been called the ‘new normal.’ The pandemic has forced the global community towards an unprecedented economic and social crisis that calls for sustained efforts and collaborative strategising with significant stakeholders in a way that millions of people who have lost their sources of livelihood can once again lead a dignified existence, stagnant markets can once again come to life and the economies of the world can once again claim a hand at revival and resurgence. 

Although this may seem like a far-fetched goal at present and it may require several years before the global community as a whole can make up for the economic losses at least to a significant extent, but what we cannot deny is that while the revival of the economy is key, the role of the medical fraternity in managing the present crisis has been phenomenal.

Frontline Healthcare Workers Can’t Be Celebrated Unless We Allow Them Their Due 

 Doctors, nurses, medical staff and healthcare workers have been fulfilling a wide range of responsibilities towards the mitigation of the crisis  and they have not only come to the service of people being infected by the coronavirus but have also taken care of and looked after patients suffering from other, more regular and critical ailments. 

This pandemic, we have come to realise the tremendous role and importance that has been played by our healthcare workers, who have worked day and night to ease the adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. It is in this context that we also need to acknowledge the fact that while healthcare workers have been working tremendously hard to bring the situation under control and cure people who have been infected by the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of them have also succumbed to the infection themselves and lost their lives while fighting for the lives of many others. 

7,000 health workers throughout the world have died after having been infected by the coronavirus infection. One of the largest coronavirus related deaths in the world have been reported from Mexico, where more than 1,300 healthcare workers have died. This is the highest number of deaths among healthcare workers due to coronavirus infection being reported from a single country. 

This fact was brought to light by a recent report from Amnesty International. 

The report by Amnesty International says,

“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 USA, while the rapid spread of the infection in South Africa and India show the need for all states to take action.”

The report reminds us that it is not just Mexico that has been reporting a large number of deaths among healthcare workers but even countries like United States of America(1,077 deaths), United Kingdom(649 deaths), Brazil(634), Russia(631) and India(573)have been reporting a significant number of deaths of healthcare workers and therefore there is an urgent need to take matters under control and for nation-states to ensure immediate steps are taken so that the safety and wellbeing of our health partitioners is not compromised on. 

This report becomes an extremely important reminder of the pathetic working conditions and life threatening experiences that our medical workers have to work in and this underlines the fact that if we don’t work for their welfare and safety, we are weakening an already over-burdened and vulnerable medical infrastructure amidst the pandemic. In many nations across the world and especially in the developing world, we have seen how healthcare workers have been complaining about not having protective equipment, are being denied timely payment,  are having extremely hard work schedules without any leaves or are simply being forced to work under hostile and unsafe conditions. 

It is important to also note that in many countries like Brazil, India, South Africa, health workers are working day and night in an already overworked and overburdened infrastructure and often without even basic personal safety equipment or access to proper pay, we have time and again said that we celebrate their labour and respect their services in these terribly hard times but if we really do, let us work towards their wellbeing and safety in these challenging moments. 7,000 healthcare workers have lost their lives due to the infection so far, let us make sure that not even a single more healthcare worker dies of infection as we collectively battle the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

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