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24th Collegium Ramazzini statement prevention of work-related infection in the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. The Fellows of the Collegium Ramazzini, Italy

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The Collegium Ramazzini is an independent, international society composed of 180 physicians and scientists from 35 countries. Its mission is to increase scientific knowledge of the environmental and occupational causes of disease and to transmit this knowledge to decision-makers, the media and the global public to prevent disease, promote health and save lives.

Collegium Ramazzini calls urgently for preventive measures internationally and in every country to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection in workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every country in the world, caused confirmed illness in more than three million people, unconfirmed disease in millions more and more than 200 000 deaths. At present, there is no vaccine and no medical treatment for COVID-19. Pandemic control must therefore rely entirely on measures that reduce the spread of infection, flatten the epidemic curve and gain time to develop more effective responses.

Workers whose occupations put them in contact with infected persons and the public are at greatly increased risk of disease and death and have suffered disproportionately in the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplaces have repeatedly been the source of serious outbreaks.

Protection of all workers, and especially workers who continue to provide essential services during the pandemic as well as vulnerable workers, must be a top priority at every stage.

High-risk workers

Workers whose occupations put them in contact with infected persons and the public are at greatly increased risk of COVID-19 infection. These workers require heightened protection. A partial listing of high-risk workers is the following:

  • Very high risk: healthcare workers, paramedics, police, firefighters, airline personnel, transport workers, drivers, sales and service personnel, cleaners, mortuary workers, migrant workers, volunteers and religious professionals.

  • High risk: security service workers; …

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