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Coronavirus: Deaths of healthcare workers highlight risks on the front lines

Air raid sirens sounded across China and flags flew at half staff in a tribute Saturday to victims of the coro…

Air raid sirens sounded across China and flags flew at half staff in a tribute Saturday to victims of the coronavirus pandemic including the health care “martyrs” who have died while fighting to save others. Elsewhere, 15 medics in Egypt‘s main cancer hospital tested positive for the virus, underlining the risks faced by those on the front lines of the outbreak.

As the number of people infected has grown to more than 1.1 million worldwide, health care systems are straining under the surge of patients and a paucity of medical equipment like ventilators as well as protective masks and gloves, giving rise to growing concerns about the exposure of hospital personnel.

Italy and Spain, the two worst-hit countries in Europe with combined deaths of more than 25,000 and nearly a quarter-million infections, have reported a high percentage of infections among their health care workers.

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U.S. President Donald Trump announced late Friday he would prevent the export of N95 protective masks and surgical gloves — including to Canada — in a move he said was necessary to ensure they are available in the U.S. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested it was counterproductive, noting cross-border aid goes well beyond supplies.

2:06COVID 19 pandemic growing worse across Canada

COVID 19 pandemic growing worse across Canada

“I think of the thousands of nurses who cross the bridge in Windsor to work in the Detroit medical system every day,” Trudeau said.

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