At least 115,000 health and care workers have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. This is according to the World Health Organisation’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Ghebreyesus made the alarming revelation while calling for a dramatic scale-up of vaccination in all countries.
“We estimate that at least 115,000 health and care workers have paid the ultimate price in the service of others,” he said at the WHO’s annual assembly.
Ghebreyesus also used the opportunity to thank health care workers around the world for their service during the pandemic.
“For almost 18 months, health and care workers all over the world have stood in the breach between life and death,” he said.
He added; “They have saved countless lives and fought for others who, despite their best efforts, slipped away. Many have themselves become infected.”
He said many health workers have since the start of the crisis felt “frustrated, helpless and unprotected, with a lack of access to personal protective equipment and vaccines”.
And they are not alone. He described the overall inequity in access to vaccines as “scandalous”, warning it was “perpetuating the pandemic”.