As the global death toll from coronavirus surpasses 19,600 and confirmed cases reaches to 438,000, medical workers from various countries all hit by Covid-19 join the campaign "We stay here for you, please stay home for us" to create awareness.

The message,
The message, "I stay home" is seen in the window of a residential building in Berlin, Germany, as the spread of the coronavirus disease, March 25, 2020. (Reuters)

First detected in Hubei, China in late December, more than 438,749 people globally have been infected with Covid-19, whilst over 19,675 have died from the novel coronavirus.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

As the reports of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to increase worldwide, countries across the globe are imposing stay-at-home orders in attempts to curb the disease's spread and flatten the curve of deaths to ease the pressure on health services.

Many health workers from various countries which are all struggling with the novel coronavirus pandemic have started their own "stay-at-home campaign" to raise awareness in public. 

Medical staff of University of Iowa Health Care Center holding signs saying
Medical staff of University of Iowa Health Care Center holding signs saying "We stay at work for you, please stay home for us" as a part of the worldwide stay-at-home campaign to avoid further coronavirus infections, March 24, 2020. (Twitter/ @uihealthcare)

For many health professionals, the virus itself is only one part of the equation: The overwork, the constraints on physical contact with patients, and the stress of knowing they are putting their own loved ones at risk also have an emotional toll.

UK's National Health Service staff showing signs saying
UK's National Health Service staff showing signs saying "I stayed at work for you, Please stay at home for me!" as a part of the worldwide stay-at-home campaign to prevent further coronavirus infections, March 21, 2020. (Twitter /@NHSMillion)

The coronavirus is waging a war of attrition against health care workers throughout the world, but nowhere is it winning more battles at the moment than in Italy and in Spain, where protective equipment and tests have been in severely short supply for weeks.

Chilean medical staff holding a banner in Spanish saying
Chilean medical staff holding a banner in Spanish saying "Stay at home, we cannot" as a part of the worldwide stay-at-home campaign to slow the spread of coronavirus, March 20, 2020. (https://www.rockandpop.cl)

In Spain, the country’s hospitals are groaning under the weight of the pandemic. Video and photos from two hospitals in the Spanish capital showed patients, many hooked up to oxygen tanks, crowding corridors and emergency rooms. At the 12 de Octubre University Hospital, patients could be seen on the floor as they waited for a bed in recent days. The hospital says the patients have since been accommodated elsewhere.

On Wednesday, the number of medical personnel infected was nearly 6,500 nationally, health authorities said, representing 13.6 percent of the country's 47,600 total cases and about 1 percent of the health system's workforce. At least three health care workers have died.

Medical staff from Hong Kong holding a sign saying
Medical staff from Hong Kong holding a sign saying "We stay at work for you, Please stay at home for us" as a part of the worldwide stay-at-home campaign to slow transmission of coronavirus, March 23, 2020. (Hong Kong Public Medical Doctors Association)

In Italy, where nearly one-tenth of about 70,000 infections are among medical workers, doctors and nurses have been begging the government daily to provide more masks, gloves and goggles.

Italian media have reported at least 19 deaths among health professionals in the country, which leads the world in coronavirus fatalities.

There was no immediately available data on infections among health care workers in the United States. Neither Iran nor France is disclosing those figures.

German health workers holding signs in German saying
German health workers holding signs in German saying "We stay here for you, please stay at home for us." March 25, 2020. (Herz-Jesu-Krankenhaus)

But in China, where the outbreak started and where more than 80,000 people became infected in three months, over 3,000 medical workers were believed to have fallen ill by the end of February, according to Doctor Liang Wannian, the leader of a team of Chinese experts working with WHO to study the outbreak.

Malaysian doctor holding sign saying
Malaysian doctor holding sign saying "I stay at work for you, you stay at home for us" while other staff make hand signs as a part of the worldwide stay-at-home campaign. (Twitter/@shazwan_sazali)

German hospitals with spare capacity on Tuesday welcomed their first coronavirus patients from Italy, where an overwhelmed health care system has seen the pandemic kill more people than in any other country.

Ahead of an expected larger wave of home-grown infections that German authorities are preparing for, a first group of six Italian patients arrived at Leipzig airport in the eastern state of Saxony on Tuesday morning.

Israeli medical staff at Rambam Medical Center holding signs saying
Israeli medical staff at Rambam Medical Center holding signs saying "I stayed at work for you, you stay at home for us" to raise awareness as a part of the global stay-at-home campaign, March 19, 2020. (Twitter/@FaresSaeb)
Source: TRTWorld and agencies