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WHO chief: 1,15,000 healthcare workers died due to Covid-19

About 1,15,000 health and care workers have died due to Covid-19 since the pandemic began last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.

WHO said this while hailing the sacrifice of the healthcare workforce as well as they have to protect and invest in the healthcare workforce urgently.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at the opening of the WHO’s 74th World Health Assembly (WHA), said, “We estimate that at least 1,15,000 health and care workers have paid the ultimate price in the service of others. Health and care workers do heroic things, but they are not superheroes. They are humans like the rest of us. Many feel frustrated, helpless and unprotected, with a lack of access to personal protective equipment and vaccines, and the tools to save lives.”

Ghebreyesus added, “We owe them so much, and yet globally health and care workers often lack the protection, the equipment, the training, the decent pay, the safe working conditions, and the respect they deserve. If we have any hope of achieving a healthier, safer, fairer future, every Member State must protect and invest in its health and care workforce as a matter of urgency.”
He further said that he lamented that so many healthcare workers lost their lives in the last 18 months and many more will lose as long as the pandemic rages. Based on current trends, the number of deaths will overtake last year’s total within the next 3 weeks.

He further said, since our Health Assembly started this morning, almost 1,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19. And in the time it takes me to make these remarks, a further 400 will die. This is very tragic,”
The WHO chief praised the effort of the healthcare workers, by saying, “Today I ask you not for a moment’s silence, but to make the loudest noise you can. Please join me in clapping, shouting, and stamping your feet for every health and care worker everywhere.”

The 74th WHA is taking place online from 24th May to 1st June.

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