During an interview on EuroNews television, International Council of Nurses (ICN) CEO Howard Catton called out governments to collect and standardise reporting on healthcare worker infection rates and deaths due to COVID-19. He urged governments to centralise the data with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Mr Catton said:
“There is no systematic reporting by countries of nurses and healthcare workers infection rates to WHO. And that matters because if we know which workers have been infected, where they were working, in which setting, we are then able to take the necessary prevention and control measures. What gets measured counts, it is not data for the sake of data but rather the gathering of vital information on which to take action, improve prevention and defeat the virus.’
‘We need countries to ramp up their testing regimes so that they can provide regular, standardised reporting of health worker infections to WHO. Such reporting would enable us to better understand the spread and transmission of the virus, and protect staff and the health systems they work in.”
In the four months since COVID-19 was identified, countless nurses and other healthcare workers have been infected, and sadly, many have died.
It is clear that at least some of these infections and deaths could have been prevented if staff had proper access to high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE). ICN has already called on governments, including those in the G-20, to prioritise the production and distribution of such equipment as a matter of utmost urgency.
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