World Health Organization on April 7 warned that there is a shortage of nearly six million nurses in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. It said that nurses, who make up more than half of all the health staff worldwide, play a vital role in healthcare services. According to reports, there are currently 28 million nurses on the planet.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a statement, termed nurses as the “backbone of any health system” adding that it was important that they get “all the support they needed to keep the world healthy.” WHO, in its latest report identified that there was still a shortfall of 5.9 million nurses across the globe. It also identified that the biggest gaps were in underdeveloped and poor countries like Africa, parts of South America, Middle East amongst others and urged nations to invest in nursing education, jobs and leadership.
Meanwhile, Howard Catton, the chief executive at International Council of Nurses speaking at a virtual news briefing asserted that that "infection rates, medication errors and mortality rates were all higher where there are too few nurses". He then said the "shortages exhaust our current nursing workforce." This comes as some experts suggested the recruitment of more men in the field to cover the stark gap.
Meanwhile, the number of people infected by coronavirus rose to 13,47,343 and dead reached 74,769 on April 7. However a total of 2,84, 882 people have also recovered from the infection. On April 6, WHO issued a warning that wearing masks alone would not be enough to defeat the global coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at a virtual press conference, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "Masks should only ever be used as part of a comprehensive package of interventions. There is no black or white answer, and no silver bullet. Masks alone cannot stop the COVID-19 pandemic."