This is what INAIL reveals in the first report it publishes on Covid-19 infections of occupational origin between the end of February and 21 April 2020.
Nearly half (45.7%) concerned nurses and other health technicians, followed by socio-sanitary agents (18.9%), doctors (14.2%) and social workers (6.2%). There were 98 fatal cases, representing about 40% of the total number of deaths reported to the Institute during the period under review.
The health and social protection sector thus recorded 72.8% of the cases of occupational contagion by Covid-19 reported to INAIL. At the territorial level, almost eight out of ten reports are concentrated in northern Italy. Most of the infected persons are on average just over 46 years old and are women (71.1%). However, the vast majority of deaths (78 cases) with an average age of 58 years concern men.
These data are provisional and require the utmost caution. Furthermore, they only refer to persons insured by INAIL and do not include, for example, family doctors, self-employed persons or pharmacists. According to INAIL’s President, Franco Bettoni, “the epidemic has brought to the forefront the issue of extending coverage to insured persons”. A working group with doctors’ federations is studying the possibility of extending coverage to independent and affiliated doctors. The question needs to be even broader to “include the more than three and a half million workers who do not have access to pensions or compensation in the event of an accident or occupational disease. The world of work has changed significantly in recent years. And the time has come to take note of this with regard to the rules for the protection of workers. INAIL is ready to accompany this change”.