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Warning over mental health of workers on the coronavirus front line

A medical worker takes part in a comprehensive emergency response exercise at Domodedovo International Airport Source: Sergei Karpukhin/TASS/Sipa USA

The World Health Organisation has warned that healthcare professionals are now facing a mental health fallout, after months of battling at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there's a drop in COVID-19 infections among frontline health workers, the World Health Organisation says they are still facing other challenges. Jim Campbell, Executive Director of the WHO's Global Health Workforce Alliance says as health workers mobilise against the virus, they are also putting a strain on their mental health.

"It's the burnout, the stress, the anxiety that we're seeing amongst our health care employees. And how they have the motivation and the commitment and the dedication to continue in their work when they're faced with these many, many difficult challenges. We're seeing around the world, the manifestation of this into industrial action. We're seeing labour disputes and even strikes amongst certain occupations."

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has been paused after a participant fell ill. The company is investigating whether the participant's illness is related to the vaccine.

In the Netherlands, the Dutch government has decided to close bars and restaurants as part of what it's calling a “partial lockdown" that will last at least four weeks to counter the sustained surge in coronavirus cases.

It's a different vibe in France's capital, Paris, where restaurant and bar owners have thrown a cocktail party outside one of Paris' main train stations, to highlight their industry's financial struggle.

 In Russia,  Moscow's railway stations are being disinfected as the country registers its highest daily rise - over 13,000 new cases - since the start of the pandemic.

And a community of Somali refugees in South Africa is standing together to help people struggling to make a living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To hear the full report click on the audio link above.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at

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