An estimated 600 health care workers have been hospitalised in Belgium due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) since mid-March, according to Sciensano.
Among patients aged 18 to 70 years admitted to hospital for the virus, 7% were health care workers, the public health institute told Le Spécialiste medical journal on Friday.
The institute, which did not give a breakdown per profession, said the estimate was a careful one. Testing application forms include a question on profession, but that section is “very rarely filled in” so the institute does not have more precise data, it explained.
That field is compulsory on electronic forms, which are more recent than the hard-copy ones, so Sciensano hopes they will yield more information.
Databases with information on people affected by the virus should also provide more details, but they are not yet available.
In the meantime, Sciensano is encouraging doctors to fill in this section, although it is aware that shortage of time, lack of information, and the practice of filling in the forms later in the day are factors that militate against this.