3,000 nurses dead: global federation

At least 3,000 nurses have been killed by the novel coronavirus disease, the global nurses’ federation said as it warned of a looming exodus of health workers traumatised by the pandemic.

Exactly one year on since the World Health Organization first described Covid-19 as a pandemic, the International Council of Nurses said burn-out and stress had led millions of nurses to consider quitting the profession.

And once the pandemic is over, a dwindling number of experienced nurses could be left to handle the giant backlog of regular hospital care that had been postponed due to the crisis, the ICN warned.

The known death toll of nurses killed by the disease — compiled from just 60 countries — is likely to be a gross underestimate of the full total, the federation said.

ICN chief executive Howard Catton said nurses had gone through “mass traumatisation” during the pandemic, being pushed to physical and mental exhaustion.

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