More than 600 nurses have died from COVID-19 around the world, while more than 230,000 health workers have been infected, according to initial data collected by the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
The Geneva-based umbrella organization that represents 20 million nurses urged governments to protect their health and to collect better data as the group has limited information.
“Without this data we do not know the true cost of COVID-19, and that will make us less able to tackle other pandemics in the future,” ICN Chief Executive Howard Catton said in a statement Wednesday.
Infected health workers also pose a risk to patients, he warned.
While the 230,000 figure was is based on data from a limited number of countries, the ICN estimates that the real number is much higher at around 450,000.
“Nursing is looking like one of the most dangerous jobs in the world at the moment,” Catton said, demanding that countries analyze why and how health workers are being infected.