The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that COVID may have killed 80k-180k health workers.
Covid has severely affected healthcare staff and may have killed between 80,000 and 180,000, the health organisation said.
The deaths occurred between January 2020 and May of this year.
“These deaths are a tragic loss,” the WHO said on Thursday, as it released the data covering the period between January 2020 and May 2021. Total known deaths from COVID-19 stood at 3.45 million over the same period.
“They are also an irreplaceable gap in the world’s pandemic response.”
Healthcare workers must be prioritised for vaccines, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, and he criticised unfairness in the distribution of jabs.
Earlier, another senior WHO official warned a lack of jabs could see the pandemic continue well into next year.
There are an estimated 135 million healthcare workers globally.
“Data from 119 countries suggest that on average, two in five healthcare workers globally have fully received vaccination,” Dr Tedros said.
“But of course, that average masks huge differences across regions and economic groupings.”
The WHO has earlier warned that a new coronavirus “variant of interest” named Mu, also known by its scientific name as B.1.621.
The health organisation said it closely monitors the new variant’s spread.
The mu SARS-CoV-2 strain first appeared in Colombia in January, as a “variant of interest.”
Since then, there have been “sporadic reports” of cases and outbreaks in South America and Europe.
Variants of interest have genetic changes that affect virus characteristics including transmissibility, disease severity and immune escape.
According to the WHO, variants of interest differ from variants of concern. The later can cause a decrease in effectiveness of public health measures, vaccines or therapeutics.