Statistics underestimate the extent of the death toll among nurses, report says

Medical staff in action at Strasbourg hospital. – Jean-Francois Badias / AP / SIPA

Nurses have paid a much heavier price for the Covid-19 pandemic than official statistics do, which record just over 1,000 deaths, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said on Wednesday.

For the Council, which represents 130 national associations and 20 million nurses, the situation is “catastrophic” and the organization criticizes the authorities for not doing enough to protect these personnel who are on the front line in the fight against the pandemic.

A survey carried out by the Council shows that more than 1,000 nurses have been killed by Covid-19, but these statistics are only available for 44 countries and therefore underestimates the scale of the massacre. As of August 14, this official number stood at 1,097 dead. Brazil has the highest official death toll with 351 deaths as of August 11 and Mexico has 212.

“Nurses are underestimated, underpaid”

“Knowing that the infection rates of health workers are on average around 10% of the total infections in the world and that nearly 30 million people have been infected with the virus, this means that three million workers health would be infected, ”underlines the ICN. Amnesty International had mentioned the number of 7,000 dead at the beginning of September but taking into account the nursing staff in the broader sense.

“Nurses are underrated, underpaid and sometimes left behind. It is a scandalous situation and the ICN urges governments to remedy it, ”said Council President Annette Kennedy, quoted in a statement.

This study “provides a disturbing insight into how nurses and other health workers are still exposed to Covid-19 and all the associated risks: violence and prejudice, mental illness, infection and arguably , for thousands of them, the highest price, their own life, ”said Annette Kennedy.

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