Fourteen percent of the 2,669 people infected with the Covid-19 in Argentina are healthcare professionals, the government said Friday.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Health Access Secretary Carla Vizzotti said that 374 health workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus, with three fatalities among them – one in Río Negro, one in La Rioja and one from Chaco.
That means Argentina has a higher percentage of medical personnel infected with the disease than Italy and Spain, whose respective numbers have hovered around 10 percent since the beginning of the pandemic.
"Of the 374 people with coronavirus, 33 percent have a history of [recent] travel [abroad], "explained Vizzotti.
In recent days, doctors, nurses and other health workers – in both the private and public sector – have began airing complaints about a lack of basic supplies, such as face masks. Others are demanding more testing of medical professionals, given the relatively low numbers of tests carried out in Argentina.
"The preliminary conclusions are that transmission chains have been observed in different institutions, something that has to do with health personnel working in more than one place," said Vizzotti, who also said that some doctors had infected each other, rather than being infected by patients.
"The infections occurred by horizontal transmission, between staff and not with patients," she confirmed.
Vizzotti outlined rules for health workers, recommending that "if they have symptoms, they should stay at home and not go to the workplace, because there are people who are working with symptoms."
"What you have to do is strengthen social distancing and maintain the guidelines of care is for all health workers," she added.