The workers most exposed to the novel coronavirus could extend much further than healthcare professionals, according to a study by LABORe and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (and commissioned by newspaper O Globo). At least 18 million people — 40 percent of the country’s formal workforce — could be at risk. In addition to healthcare workers, professionals in high-risk groups include bus drivers, cooks, salespeople, flight attendants, and undertakers. The study took into account the degree of proximity some occupations require, as well as the level exposition to diseases and infections.
“There are occupations in which people interact directly with one another, and that are at high risk. It serves as an alert,” Yuri Lima, a researcher at LABORe and UFRJ told O Globo. “Simply considering some sectors as essential makes it a challenge to keep them running safely.”