The novel coronavirus has killed hundreds of doctors, nurses and other health care workers around the world, including more than 100 in Italy. Indonesia also reported the death of at least 24 infected doctors, more than in China, where the virus was first detected.
The virus, which was first reported in Wuhan, China, has spread to over 1.5 million people across at least 184 countries and regions, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
Speaking to Newsweek, the chief executive officer of the International Council of Nurses, Howard Catton, said: "We have been concerned for some weeks now about how many nurses and other healthcare staff have become infected with the coronavirus. Nurses around the globe are working under extreme pressure for long hours without breaks and without days off, and it is taking its toll."
"We have no doubt that the rate of infections is related in part to the lack of personal protective equipment. We know there is a global shortage, but nurses are the frontline, they are heroes and they must be protected if they are to continue with the unique lifesaving work that they are doing," he added.
"Sadly there have been deaths among nurses there [in Italy and Spain] and in Iran and Indonesia, some nurses have died by suicide," he added.
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