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Coronavirus: Calls to protect nurses who are 'still in the eye of this pandemic'

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A nurse in a COVID-19 area in a Marseille hospital, southern France, Thursday, Sept.10, 2020.
A nurse in a COVID-19 area in a Marseille hospital, southern France, Thursday, Sept.10, 2020.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Daniel Cole
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Hospitals across Europe are preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 patients. Once again, health care workers will be on the front line.

According to a new report, more than 1,000 nurses have so far died from the disease worldwide. They account for around 10 per cent of infections.

Yet fewer than half of the countries surveyed classify COVID-19 as an occupational disease. That hinders the collection of data, the setting of safety standards as well as the financial assistance health workers or their families can claim.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN), which released the findings, is calling on governments to do more to protect them and to embrace a Health Worker Safety Charter launched by the World Health Organization on World Patient Safety Day.

"The applause has stopped, but nurses are still in the eye of this pandemic," said Howard Catton, CEO of the ICN.

More testing, training and mental health support are needed to support health workers throughout this crisis, he said.

Watch more of the interview in the video player above.