Preprint / Version 1

COVID-19: WHY IS HEALTH PROTECTION FOR HEALTH WORKERS A PRIORITY IN COMBATING THE PANDEMIC?

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1590/SciELOPreprints.664

Keywords:

COVID-19, health workers, occupational health

Abstract

The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a worldwide public health emergency. Some occupational categories are at high risk of exposure to infection, such as health workers. This article aims to summarize and systematize aspects related to the health and working conditions of health workers in this pandemic, emphasizing the situation in Brazil, successful experiences in the protection of health workers in other countries, and recommendations for the Brazilian context. Immediate initiatives to protect and combat the pandemic in other countries included, as strategic points: adequate working conditions, systematic testing of workers, and specific care/assistance actions. To the health workers' protection in the facing of COVID-19 in Brazil, the following recommendations are highlighted: review of service flows and definition of characteristics and conditions for each stage of service; establishment of COVID-19 as a work-related disease for exposed groups;  active registration of occupation in the information systems; special conditions for carrying out work in the event of an epidemic; attention to working hours and actions to reduce occupational stressors. The performance of these workers is a central element in facing the pandemic; therefore, the plan to combat COVID-19 must include protection and preservation of their physical and mental health.

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Posted

2020-06-02

Section

Health Sciences