Protect ‘healthcare heroes’ from Covid-19, urges UN rights expert

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Protect ‘healthcare heroes’ from Covid-19, urges UN rights expert.

EFFORTS must be urgently stepped up to ensure that the “brave and selfless doctors, nurses, first-responders and other medical professionals” working on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic receive adequate protective equipment, a UN rights expert has urged.

“Their tireless work and self-sacrifice show the best of humanity. They must be protected,” said Baskut Tuncak, Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes.

He stressed that unacceptable shortages in critical protective equipment continue to be a grave concern in nearly all countries battling the coronavirus.

“I applaud the many businesses that are rising to the challenge, producing much-needed personal protective equipment for these health-care providers. These efforts are to be commended. But far more is needed around the world.

“Of particular concern is the inequality in the distribution of necessary personal protective equipment within and between countries,” added Tunak.

The health situation in low-income countries is of grave concern, he said, and called for government to ensure that countries with fewer resources have the necessary protective equipment for all their health care providers.

“Public and private funds are urgently needed to ensure that protective equipment and other medical supplies are universally available and accessible.

“Hoarding of essential protective equipment, exploitation of demand or profiteering from the current crisis is abhorrent. States must take immediate measures to effectively deter such conduct.

“It is time to put aside our differences and to work together to protect the most vulnerable people from this virus, the elderly and those who bravely care for them: our health care workers.”


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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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