Volunteer groups and independent media have been compiling lists of health workers who have died of COVID-19 and these figures are higher than the figures provided by the government of Kyrgyzstan. The International Human Rights Organization Amnesty International stated in its report «Beyond the Call of Duty: The Rights of Health Workers in Kyrgyzstan.»
Health workers are dying but unreliable statistics are undermining the government’s response. Medical workers and many other essential workers face greater exposure to COVID-19 as a result of their occupation, and are therefore at greater risk of infection, serious illness, and even death if not adequately protected.
«Data on the scale of COVID-19 related infections and deaths of health workers is extremely valuable. It serves as a crucial reminder of the human cost of this pandemic, particularly of those who were on the frontlines, and their families. It is an important tool to understand what risks health and essential workers are facing, so health systems and countries can be better prepared in the future,» authors of the report say.
The Kyrgyzstani authorities must ensure that data is not only accurate but also disaggregated. Data on fatalities among health workers should be disaggregated according to place of work, occupation and other factors such as gender and ethnicity. This will allow the government to better assess the impact of the pandemic and what specific strategies may be necessary to protect groups facing higher risk in the future.