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WHO: “The pandemic has shown us that there is no health without caregivers”

Health-facts: pandemie covid
Photo Luiz Diaz Izquierdo : Colleagues of a nurse who died of Covid-19 in a hospital in Madrid, Spain, pay tribute to him.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday recalled the incredible contribution of healthcare workers on the front lines in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, when 10% of them have been infected with the virus.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited France and Spain this week to participate in ceremonies to pay tribute to French and Spanish healthcare workers engaged in the fight against the coronavirus.

Dr. Tedros welcomed the responses from France and Spain, two European countries severely affected by the pandemic. To date, more than 30,000 French people and more than 28,400 Spaniards have died from the coronavirus.

“Both countries are good examples of the four essential pillars of the response: strong and humble leadership, community engagement, suppression of transmission and lives saved,” the Director-General said in a virtual press conference organized from WHO headquarters in Geneva.

“And both countries rightly recognize the incredible contribution of health workers,” he added.

10% of all Covid-19 cases worldwide involve health workers

WHO welcomed the increase in wages for French health workers announced on Monday. Earlier this week, the government of new Prime Minister Jean Castex and a majority of unions signed a € 8.1 billion plan providing for wage increases and bonuses for French hospital staff.

“The pandemic has shown us that there is no health without caregivers”, recalled Dr. Tedros. “We all owe a huge debt to caregivers – not just because they cared for the sick. But because they risked their own lives in the performance of their duties ”.

So far, about 10% of all Covid-19 cases worldwide are among health workers, the WHO said.