Nearly 17,000 Italian health workers infected with new coronavirus

Health workers in Italy.

Nearly 17,000 healthcare workers have been infected with the new coronavirus in Italy, more than two-thirds of them women, the country’s public health institute said Friday.

The figure accounts for 10 per cent of Italy’s officially registered infections.

The ISS public health institute did not report fatality figures, but a study released Thursday by the FNOMCeO medical association said COVID-19 has killed 125 doctors in Italy.

Media reports Friday said that at least 34 nurses have also died of the disease. Italy’s total COVID-19 death toll stands at 22,170, although doctors say the real figure could be double the official one in some of the worst-hit provinces.

Several Italian doctors have expressed fears that infected medics may have been unwittingly spreading the disease to their patients in the early weeks of the outbreak.