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News > South Africa

115,000 Health Workers Died From COVID-19 Worldwide, WHO Say

  • Health workers conduct a COVID-19 test in Sri Jayawardenapura, Sri Lanka, May 2021.

    Health workers conduct a COVID-19 test in Sri Jayawardenapura, Sri Lanka, May 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 May 2021
Opinion

The number of doses administered so far worldwide would have been enough to immunize all health workers, if vaccines would have been distributed equally. 

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom on Monday informed that at least 115,000 health workers have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 

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"Health professionals are the most exposed to the disease. Although reports are scarce, we know that most of them died trying to save the lives of others," Adhanom said during the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

WHO called on the international community to end unequal access to vaccines, which is perpetuating the pandemic, and called on every government to aim to immunize at least 10 percent of their populations by August.

"We must try to immunize 30 percent of the world's population by the end of the year," Adhanom urged, warning that over 75 percent of all vaccines have been administered in just ten countries.

According to the official, the number of doses administered so far worldwide would have been enough to immunize all health workers and the elderly, if vaccines would have been distributed equally. 

During the UNGA, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa also called for a temporary and limited waiver of the intellectual property rights that pharmaceutical companies have over vaccines so that more doses can be produced at modest prices.

"The world needs to prepare for future pandemics. We demand more international treaties, and greater cooperation and solidarity to put an end to this health emergency, which continues to claim lives every day," Ramaphosa demanded.

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