healthworker covid19 infected
Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90

Recent news has been quite surprised about the alarmingly increasing numbers of health care workers that are affected by the COVID-19. Amidst the brink of the infamous 2nd wave of this COVID-19 pandemic, many countries struggle to adjust to the world’s “new normal” situation. Countries that were not severely affected by the deadly virus before seem to have a surprisingly increased amount of case counts today. As China reports less than 5 new cases as of the moment, Bangladesh reports more than 2,000 new cases while India has more than 8,000 new confirmed cases. The USA is still leading with a new case count of 11,772.

who covid cases worldwide

On top are the current data maps from the World Health Organization regarding the new cases and deaths caused by COVID-19

With all these confirmed cases, what’s more, alarming is the number of health care workers that are debilitated or worse, have died due to this disease. In one news publication, it has been reported that more than 450,000 health care workers have been affected by COVID-19 worldwide. In the US alone, almost 600 health care workers have died due to the virus. If we consider this data and relate it with the total number of cases worldwide, it shows that 7% of the total confirmed cases are from health care workers. With all the protests and the issues that are currently happening in the US, the number of cases is expected to increases throughout these coming days.

 The BAME Background Controversy

In the UK, the number of health care workers dying is very alarming and at the same time, intriguing. It has been reported that 60% of the health care workers’ death rate comes from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Filipinos alone that are working there as health care workers reach an estimate of 50 deaths in total, making this an international discussion. 

” In an interview with Nursing Times, International Council of Nurses chief executive Howard Catton today said the matter had caught the attention of nursing leaders in the Philippines who had contacted the ICN to share their concerns.

BAME healthcare worker staff
Above are the BAME Health Care Workers who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 according to UKnews.com

The Philippine Nurses Association had reached out to the international nursing body because “they were concerned that infections and deaths were higher amongst Filipino nurses” “ – Nursingtimes.net


This data has taken concerns from the producers of health care workers around the world. The Philippines, considered to be the top producers of nurses throughout the world, due to the alarming risk that this pandemic poses, have decided to BAN the deployment of its nurses around the world. As this decision by the Philippine government is not favorable for the nurses in general, they have no choice but to abide by it as they have been restricted to travel outside the country.

Why the Alarming Increase?

Health care workers know the gravity of combating this deadly pandemic. But as much as health care workers are knowledgeable with regards to the means of properly protecting themselves, they will just be in theory if the protection they need is not adequately given to them. See, every day, these health care workers risk their lives to save lives. 

What’s CHALLENGING is that the government or private sectors who are responsible for providing our front liners with adequate protection seem to have difficulty in catching up with the pace. Health care workers will not be effective if they are not properly protected; and not very far from now, the masses will feel the impact of these losses. Every day more and more nurses or physicians fall ill due to this pandemic. It is due to the combination of lack of adequate protection, trace mapping for Persons Under Investigation or Monitoring, and dishonesty of a possible COVID + patient. These things play a vital role in the increased number of health care workers acquiring the virus. Would we see a drastic decrease on the infection rate or the mortality rate of our health care workers if they receive adequate support?

With regards to the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background who are dying in a very high rate in the UK, it seems that it is due to putting too much efforts and attention to the Critical Care Units and somewhat disregarding the regular wards and other departments where usually, are manned by BAME background health care workers. Places like Home Care and Long-term Care Facilities are often disregarded and often perceived to not cause any threats – until it did. And because the staff there weren’t properly equipped, casualties have risen.

May this be a lesson to all of us, not just the health care workers, but also the masses to never trust the environment. It’s always better nowadays to be somewhat paranoid about what’s happening to our surroundings. Being EXTRA cautious is always better than pretending that this pandemic is nothing serious.

What was once a title of a leadership book by Andrew Grove seems to mean more than just a simple title as he states there: “Only The Paranoid Survive”

References


  1. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/high-death-rates-among-filipino-nurses-in-uk-now-on-global-radar-05-06-2020
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/03/coronavirus-live-updates-us/
  3. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/600-us-health-care-workers-died-covid-19/story?id=71132667
  4. https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/uk-news/2020/06/05/bame-staff-account-for-60-of-covid-19-health-worker-deaths/

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