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Health worker safety and security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (Update November 2020)

Situation Report
Originally published
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Between January and September 2020 Insecurity Insight's monitoring identified 1,025 incidents in 85 countries that adversely affected the delivery of health care. Incidents are classified as related to COVID-19 and/or conflict (see the definitions at the bottom of page 2).

Latest COVID-related incident trends

• Between 30 September and 31 October 135 COVID-related incidents were reported from 31 countries. Of these 135 incidents, 76% were related to protests and strikes by health workers.

• Protests and strikes reduce the number of health workers able to treat patients. This can impact patients' access to health services.

• While protests and strikes were common before the COVID pandemic, they were usually over pay.
The recent strikes also focus on the lack of PPE and general working conditions, which include demands for better physical protection from the general public, patients and police officers enforcing lockdown measures.

• Protesting health workers constitute a major concern during a pandemic. Globally, thousands of health workers have been unable to work while recovering from COVID, requiring self-isolation. Industrial action further reduces the global health worker workforce at times of critical need.