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WHO says at least 115,000 health workers have died from Covid

GENEVA, Switzerland — At least 115,000 health and care workers have died from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO chief says, calling for a dramatic scale-up of vaccination in all countries.

At the opening of the World Health Organization’s main annual assembly, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hails the sacrifices made by health workers around the world to battle the pandemic.

“For almost 18 months, health and care workers all over the world have stood in the breach between life and death,” he says. “They have saved countless lives and fought for others who, despite their best efforts, slipped away.

Healthcare workers take on a stretcher a patient suspected of having COVID-19 from an ambulance, at the HRAN public hospital in Brasilia, Brazil, March 23, 2021 (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

“Many have themselves become infected, and while reporting is scant, we estimate that at least 115,000 health and care workers have paid the ultimate price in the service of others.”

He says 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 describes the overall inequity in access to vaccines as “scandalous,” warning it was “perpetuating the pandemic.”

More than 75 percent of all Covid-19 vaccines have gone to just 10 countries.

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