More nurses dead from coronavirus than in WWI - Int'l Council of Nurses

An independent investigation probes the death toll of healthcare workers, estimating it is much higher than reported, and condemns worldwide organizations for not doing as such.

A NURSE WEARS a mask in the Coronavirus Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. (photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)
A NURSE WEARS a mask in the Coronavirus Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)
The International Council of Nurses is a federation that represents more than 20 million nurses worldwide. When they conducted their own data analysis, they discovered that 1,500 nurses have died so far from COVID-19. Up from 1,097 in August, that's the highest nurse-death count since World War I, the ICN announced on Wednesday, October 28.
Council CEO Howard Catton, at the Nightingale 2020 virtual conference on October 27-28, called it a "scandal," that the "standardized and systematic collection of data on healthcare worker infections and deaths" has not been conducted by any organization yet, since at least May 2020.
ICN is the conglomeration of more than 130 national nurse associations. Their suggested estimation for worldwide healthcare worker COVID-19 fatalities is at least 20,000. This number is not backed up by data, as it currently does not exist, ICN has pointed out.
The reason for the seeming gap in numbers, and why ICN believes 1,500 is an underestimate, is because the data gathered is only from 44 countries where it is readily available, out of the world's 195, The Independent explains.
According to Johns Hopkins University, worldwide COVID-19 cases stand at just over 46 million, with the current death rate at 1.1 million. ICN estimates that 10% of the global cases are actually of healthcare workers.
After condemning the lack of data, Catton contrasted today's tracking reality to the ironic 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. During the Crimean War, he explained, "Florence demonstrated how the collection and analysis of data can improve our understanding of risks to health, improve clinical practices and save lives – and that includes nurses and healthcare workers.
"If she were alive today," he added, "world leaders would have her voice ringing in their ears saying they must protect our nurses. There is a chasm between the warm words and accolades, and the action that needs to be taken.”