Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus, epidemic and Italy are becoming increasingly ill with respiratory diseases, causing many to complain about inadequate protective equipment and supplies.
The two most affected countries in Europe together recorded more than 17,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, on Monday.
“We were overloaded before this crisis and now you need to add emotional overload,” Alda Recas, president of Madrid’s Association of Independent Nurses, told NBC News. “We have not seen a situation that resembles the situation in which we all live and have a career.”
She added that a lack of medical care is “currently a common problem in all hospitals and health centers”.
Officials in Spain have not disclosed how many, if any, medical workers have died from the coronavirus, but Fernando Simon, head of the country’s emergency coordination center, said in his recent briefing on the subject that 9,444 had signed the contract. Just six days earlier, the toll was 3,475.
This meant that they made up 12 percent of all cases in Spain.
Recas said she thought the real percentage was much higher.
“I have colleagues who have waited 5 days to get examined,” she said, adding that doctors and nurses who were infected were “guilty” because they were unable to help patients in the crisis were and worried about the virus happening to reach their families.
Miguel Guirao, an anesthetist who works in the intensive care unit at the Universitario La Paz Hospital in Madrid, said the high number of medical workers infected in Spain has affected many of his colleagues. Left
“We try to protect ourselves to protect ourselves,” said Guirao, “27”. “Not” only for ourselves, but for other families “
He added that doctors who become infected were forced to isolate themselves for three weeks so that their colleagues could close the gap and reduce the number of people they could treat.
“These numbers let us think about what happened to infect so many medical personnel,” said Guirao, adding that a lack of protective equipment, unreliable testing, and asymptomatic spread were likely responsible.
In Italy, the “National Health Institute of the country” announced on Monday that 8,358 health workers tested “positive” for the “coronavirus”, to the extent that it is nine percent
A total of 61 medical workers have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak began, according to the Italian Federation of the Medical Association.
The situation is so bad that MSF has sent a team of doctors, nurses and hygiene experts to the town of Codogno, in the north of Italy’s Lombardy region, where the first case of the disease was found in the country.
Instead of treating patients, they are only there to protect hospital staff, healthcare, workers, and cleaning teams
“We are helping them to fight the pandemic safely so that they can continue to take care of all patients, those affected by COVID-19 and all other patients in need of treatment,” said Carlotta Berutto, a nurse and “coordinator” with the intervention team in Codogno.
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Michele Novaga and Caroline Radnofsky contributed.