1,209 workers in Turkey have died of COVID-19 to date: report

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Turkey has recorded the death of 1,209 workers from COVID-19 during the 18 months of the pandemic, with blue collar workers emerging as one of the groups worst hit by the pandemic in the country, according to a recent report by the Workers Health and Work Safety Assembly (İSİG).

The highest number of worker deaths due to COVID-19 occurred in the healthcare and social services sector, with 429 healthcare and social services workers dying between March 11, 2020 and September 10, 2021.

Of the workers who died of COVID-19, 1,103 were men and 105 were women.

In a written statement İSİG claimed that the high number of worker deaths is proof that “COVID-19 is a disease predominantly affecting blue collar workers,” noting that the provinces with highest incidence of the disease are also industrial areas with the biggest population of workers.

Of the workers who died of COVID-19, only 161 were members of labor unions, while 1,048 had no union affiliation.

The union members worked in the agriculture, food, chemicals, textile, glassware, metalwork, construction, transportation, healthcare, security and municipal services sectors among others, the statement said.

When broken down by city, the highest number of deaths occurred in İstanbul with 248, followed by Ankara (59), Kocaeli (58), İzmir (55), Bursa (409 and Mersin (38), while no COVID-19-related worker deaths were reported in Ardahan, Muş or Şırnak.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Turkey increased by 21,352 and 243 more deaths were registered in the preceeding 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data released on Sunday.

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