115,000 Health Workers Have Died From Covid-19: WHO
A minimum of 115,000 health and care workers have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic has started, stated by the World Health Organization (WHO) chief on Monday, urging for a dramatic increase of vaccination in all countries.
On the main annual assembly of the World Health Organisation’s opening, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appreciated the sacrifices of health workers around the world to fight the pandemic.
“For nearly 18 months, health and care workers all over the world have survived between life and death. They have saved uncountable lives while many others lost their lives despite their best efforts,” he stated.
“Many of them become infected, and although the report is showing the limited number, we estimate that at least 115,000 health and care workers have lost their lives in serving others.”
According to him, since the start of the pandemic, many health workers have felt frustrated, helpless, and unprotected as they were deprived of personal protective equipment and vaccines and they are not alone. He called the overall injustice in access to vaccines ‘shocking’, and it was ‘prolonging’ the pandemic. Over 75 percent of all Covid-19 vaccines have been supplied to only 10 countries.
“The number of doses managed globally till now would have been sufficient to vaccinate all health workers as well as older people if they had been supplied with equity,” he said.
“There is no diplomacy in saying that a small group of countries which produce and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines is controlling the fate of the rest of the world.” He also directed countries with large stocks of vaccines to share them to scale up the production and distribution of the jabs.
Covax, a global vaccine-sharing programme created by the WHO and others remains much underfunded and has faced significant supply shortages, resulting in delayed jabs roll out in poorer countries.
“We have shipped every single dose out of 72 million doses we have so far to 125 countries and economies,” Tedros said.
But according to him, those doses were only enough to hardly cover one percent of the populations in those countries. He stressed the need to urgently fix the imbalance.
“Today, I’m requesting member states to support an immense push to vaccinate at least 10 percent of every country’s population by September,” he stated, calling to expand the coverage to 30 percent by the end of 2021.