Google Doodle Says Thank You to Coronavirus Helpers, Honors Public Health Workers and Researchers

Today's Google Doodle celebrates all public health workers and researchers across the globe working in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The tribute is the first in a new Google Doodle series launched today to honor those working on the front lines of the outbreak.

"Today, we'd like to say: To all the public health workers and to researchers in the scientific community, thank you," Google notes.

"As COVID-19 continues to impact communities around the world, people are coming together to help one another now more than ever. Over the coming weeks, we're launching a Doodle series to recognize and honor many of those on the front lines," it adds.

Several countries have been paying collective public tributes such as in Spain, Italy and the U.K., where at designated times, residents clap from the windows and balconies of their homes to give thanks to all health care workers in their respective countries.

More than 100 doctors and nurses around the world have lost their lives while treating patients, including at least one doctor last week in the U.S., who was the first emergency physician to have died after showing COVID-19 symptoms.

At least 66 doctors have died in Italy, one of the worst-hit nations in the world. Both Italy and Spain have seen more than 9,000 medical workers infected, while at least 13 doctors have died in China, where the virus was first reported.

Speaking to Newsweek, the chief executive officer of the International Council of Nurses, Howard Catton, said: "We have been concerned for some weeks now about how many nurses and other health care staff have become infected with the coronavirus. Nurses around the globe are working under extreme pressure for long hours without breaks and without days off, and it is taking its toll."

He added: "We have no doubt that the rate of infections is related in part to the lack of personal protective equipment. We know there is a global shortage, but nurses are the frontline, they are heroes and they must be protected if they are to continue with the unique lifesaving work that they are doing."

The COVID-19 virus was first reported in Wuhan, China and over 1.2 million confirmed infections have since been reported across 183 countries and regions. More than 264,000 people have recovered from the disease, while over 69,500 people have died, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

This photo taken on March 7, 2020 shows doctors comforting a pregnant woman, infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus, before her caesarean section at a gynaecology and obstetrics isolation ward in Xiehe hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.
This photo taken on March 7, 2020 shows doctors comforting a pregnant woman infected by the COVID-19 virus, before her caesarean section at a gynecology and obstetrics isolation ward in Xiehe hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. Getty Images

Number of doctors and nurses who have died from COVID-19

(as of April 6)

  • Italy — at least 66
  • China — at least 13
  • U.K. — at least 9
  • France — at least 5
  • Spain — at least 5
  • Iran — at least 3
  • U.S. — at least 1
  • Greece — at least 1
  • Poland — at least 1
  • Pakistan — at least 1

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the globe.

statista, coronavirus, covid19
A map showing COVID-19 cases around the world. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.