WHO reports that more than 6,000 health workers have been infected with coronavirus in Africa

An employee prepares for the day's work at the 1 Classie Africa beauty salon in downtown on day 94 of COVID-19 pandemic in Johannesburg, South Africa. EPA-EFE/KIM LUDBROOK

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The World Health Organization says more than 6,000 health workers have been infected with the coronavirus in 38 countries across its Africa region since the pandemic began.

Hundreds of health workers already have been infected in the latest hot spot of South Africa’s Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria. Across South Africa, more than 2,000 health workers across have been infected. In Nigeria, nearly 1,000 have been sickened.

The WHO’s 47-country Africa region has the most severe health workforce shortage in the world, and concerns about adequate personal protective gear against the coronavirus are widespread.

Already a handful of countries have seen more than 10% of their health workers infected as of Tuesday: Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Niger, Mozambique and Burundi.

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