The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday signed a joint declaration by global organizations representing more than 30 million healthcare professionals, condemning mounting attacks against them amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The declaration follows an increase in attacks against health workers and facilities linked to COVID-19: more than 200 incidents of violence have been recorded by the ICRC in over 13 countries since the beginning of the pandemic,” according to the declaration.
“At least 208 reports of such incidents have emerged since the beginning of the pandemic, and each day brings new stories of intimidation and harm,” it added.
“These are reported attacks; the actual numbers are likely much higher.”
The signatories said that healthcare workers and facilities and medical vehicles should never be a target of violence.
They urged governments, communities, and weapon-bearers to respect and protect health care at all times, and to contribute to creating a protective environment in which health care can be provided safely.
“Unfortunately, the sad reality is that health workers have for a long time been subject to many shocking forms of violence,” they said.
The statement was signed also by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Council of Nurses, Médecins du Monde, the World Medical Association, International Hospital Federation, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of Military Medicine and other groups.
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