In only one week the number of healthcare workers diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has risen by 74.8 percent in the Northeastern state of Pernambuco, according to a report published by the newspaper Estadão. Pernambuco is the first state in Brazil to implement testing protocols for the workers at the frontline of the battle to contain the pandemic. Already, one-third of the workers who are risking their lives daily have tested positive for Covid-19 — a total of 1,353 professionals.
Another 905 tests were discarded and 790 tests are waiting for their results to be processed. There are a total of 3,999 cases of Covid-19 in Pernambuco, per the last bulletin released by the state’s health authorities.
In response to this high rate of infection, the state government has been ordered by a state magistrate to distribute the Personal Protective Equipment necessary to protect healthcare workers over the next 10 days in response to an appeal made by the Professional Union of Nursing Assistants and Technicians. Other Brazilian states struggling to contain the pandemic such as Amazonas, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro have not made such information public and have yet to implement similar protocols to protect healthcare workers.