Twenty healthcare workers have died over the past week while combatting the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) announced.
More and more healthcare workers are falling victim to COVID-19 as Turkey struggles to stem the spread of the virus.
Five of the healthcare staff stricken with the virus died on Sunday alone.
In order to attract attention to the difficulties faced by healthcare workers during the pandemic, the TTB released a video message, saying: “We are faced with a 40 times higher risk [of infection]. We have a 10 percent higher risk of dying [of COVID-19]. We are not being tested regularly [for the coronavirus]. We are deprived of our right to resign or take time off. The quarantine measures are insufficient, the payments promised are not made, there is no sufficient coronavirus tracking, there is no day off after a full workday, we are dying.”
The association has been calling on the Turkish government to take effective measures and introduce a lockdown to contain the pandemic and protect healthcare workers, who are overwhelmed by the surge in the number of coronavirus patients.
The TTB also called on Turkey’s Health Ministry to recognize COVID-19 as an occupational disease so healthcare workers can access medical services free of charge and receive compensation if they are temporarily or permanently unable to work. Their family members would also be paid a monthly pension in the event of their death.
Coronavirus deaths in Turkey rose to a record for the seventh consecutive day on Sunday, and the country reported 185 dead, 45 percent above the peak of the first wave in April, and more than 29,000 cases in the last 24 hours.