Coronavirus latest: ‘Sunbelt’ states drive record rise in Sunday tally of US infections


UK has ‘second-highest number’ of healthcare worker deaths

An investigation into how health workers across the world have fared during the pandemic has found those in the UK suffered more deaths than anywhere in the world apart from Russia.

At least 540 people in the health care and social industries in UK have lost their lives due to Covid-19, compared to 545 in Russia and third-ranked US with 507, human rights advocacy organisation Amnesty International said

“It is tragic that we’ve seen so many of our dedicated health and social care workers in England and Wales die from Covid-19,” said Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s director:
“There appears to have been a catastrophic failure to provide proper PPE and a failure to grapple with the alarmingly high death rates among Bame (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) health workers,” she added, calling for an urgent inquiry into the UK government’s handling of the pandemic.
The findings by Amnesty, published on Monday, relied on information collected from 63 countries and territories across the world and found widespread failure to protect the health and safety of people working on the front line combatting the disease.

This included a lack of personal protective equipment, intolerably high workloads and inadequate financial compensation. In many countries restrictions were imposed preventing health care workers from speaking out about their concerns. In some parts of the world this extended to outright threats against those who dared to speak out.

Nonetheless, Amnesty International noted there had been reports that health care workers had publicly protested about their working conditions and/or gone on strike, or threatened to go on strike in at least 31 countries.

“In certain countries, protests have been banned, or met with force or other forms of reprisals. In some countries, measures have been put in place by governments to dissuade workers from making their concerns public. In others, workers have faced reprisals in the workplace by employers for raising health and safety concerns,” the report said.

The research covered the period from January to June, but relied on data that were not strictly comparable in terms of date of collection and health care roles.

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