DISTURBING: Many health workers contracting COVID-19 Featured

Thousands of frontline health workers in Europe are contracting the novel coronavirus, a situation which is leaving many worried.

The heavy toll the pandemic is having on front line health workers has been attributed to how they are under-resourced in fighting the pandemic.

In Italy, for instance, 8,358 health care workers were reported to have been infected as of March 30, with 61 dead.

To help the situation, Doctors without Borders has sent a team to Codogno in the north of the country to care for hospital workers and support staff.

In Spain, Fernando Simon, the head of the country’s emergency coordination centre, said last week that 9,944 health care workers had been infected, up from 3,475 the previous week.

"At the moment, we have a total of 9,944 health workers with symptoms of COVID-19," Simón told the press, adding that the total death toll in Spain was 4,858 at the time of his media appearance, with 7,891 new cases registered over the previous 24 hours.

In the UK, one in four National Health Service (NHS) doctors is ill or self-isolating with sick family members, according to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). Overall, the RCP found that up to a fifth of all front line health staff has been forced to take time off work to self-isolate. Over the weekend, the first two deaths of medical employees were reported. It is believed that 4,100 ambulance workers have also self-isolated, roughly 17 per cent of paramedics.

A study published by the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet found that in China’s Hubei province, the first epicentre of the pandemic, 70 per cent of front line health workers suffered extreme levels of stress, 50 per cent had depressive disorders, 44 per cent had anxiety while 34 per cent had insomnia.

Ghanaian doctor tests positive

In Ghana, a doctor who works at LEKMA Hospital, at Teshie in the Greater Accra Region, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The medical officer is the first frontline medical staff known publicly to have contracted the disease.

Report says the doctor may have picked up the virus while working with a private facility in assisting the Ghana Aviation Company Limited (GACL) to screen persons arriving in the country and some persons in quarantine.

The hospital’s theatre has since been closed down for a disinfection exercise, in accordance with stated protocols, because the doctor in question conducted a procedure there.

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Last modified on Thursday, 02 April 2020 13:47

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