Amnesty International: Mexico has most healthcare worker deaths due to COVID-19

Coronavirus

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – SEPTEMBER 1, 2020: A person joins a strike of Health workers, nurses, doctors, workers, notimex union who protest against the government of Mexico and Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador due medical supplies have not been delivered, layoffs increase, crime increases and support has not been provided due to the new Covid-19 pandemic crisis as some points demanded by the demonstrators while President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers the second Government Report. On September 1, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico- PHOTOGRAPH BY Carlos Tischler / Eyepix Group/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Carlos Tischler / Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Mexico has lost 1,320 healthcare workers to the coronavirus, the most deaths worldwide followed by 1,077 in the U.S.; 649 in England; and 634 in Brazil, according to Amnesty International.

Figures released last week show 97,632 nurses, doctors and other hospital employees in Mexico have tested positive for the COVID-19 since the pandemic began. That’s 17 percent of all the cases in Mexico.

Nurses accounted for 42% of the infections, doctors made up 27% and other hospital employees, such as technicians, aides and maintenance and cleaning staff accounting for 31%.

Worldwide map showing health care worker deaths around the world. (Courtesy: Amnesty International)

The Mexican government has insisted that hospital workers all have access to personal protective equipment, but on several occasions, hospital employees have blocked streets in Mexico City displaying what they said was ill-fitting, insufficient or substandard gear.

Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice, said “for over 7,000 people to die while trying to save others is a crisis on a staggering scale.” 

“Every health worker has the right to be safe at work, and it is a scandal that so many are paying the ultimate price,” Cockburn said.

Cockburn urged an international cooperative effort to ensure that every healthcare worker has adequate protective equipment.

The Amnesty International survey also states that “there have been reports that hospital cleaners in Mexico are especially vulnerable to infection. Many cleaners in health settings in Mexico are outsourced, which means they have less protection.”

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