ADDIS ABABA – At least 1, 300 health workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus in Ethiopia, Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.
To date, officials of the ministry confirmed two frontline workers have died due to COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.
“Some 1, 311 health workers have so far contracted the virus in Ethiopia,” Dr. Yacob Seman, Medical service directorate director at the ministry. “700 of them have recovered”.
Dr. Yacob said the remaining frontline workers are currently getting medical treatment.
The director said this while addressing a news briefing marking World Patient Safety Day, as the number of people reported infected with the coronavirus in Ethiopia nears 67 000, causing more than 1, 000 deaths, according to the ministry.
Globally, one in seven cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a health worker and in some countries that figure rises to one in three, the UN agency said on Thursday.
The WHO called for frontline medical workers to be provided with protective equipment to prevent them from being infected with the novel coronavirus, and potentially spreading it to their patients and families.
“Globally around 14% of COVID cases reported to the WHO are among health workers and in some countries it’s as much as 35%,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom said.
He added data was limited however and it was hard to know if people were infected at work or in their communities.
“It’s not just the risk of infection. Every day, health workers are exposed to stress, burnout, stigma, discrimination, and even violence,” he added.