06 May 2021: 126 doctors died of COVID-19 this year, says the IMA
As many as 126 doctors have died of the coronavirus disease so far this year, according to a study conducted by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
The top medical body has said that it is in the process of assessing the vaccination status of the doctors who died due to the infection.
Here are more details on this.
Data: Bihar led the toll with 49 deaths among doctors
According to the data, the highest number of deaths among doctors was reported from Bihar. Forty-nine doctors died of the fatal virus in the northern state, according to a report by News18.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra, the worst-hit Indian state, reported nine COVID-19 deaths among doctors, Delhi reported eight such deaths, Tamil Nadu six, West Bengal five, and Uttarakhand one.
Quote: Government is not maintaining proper records, says IMA member
An IMA member said the body stepped in as the government is not doing enough to maintain records of healthcare workers who were affected or died due to the coronavirus.
"Government of India and various states should maintain an official data of health care workers affected and died due to COVID with their vaccination status (sic)," said Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar, former IMA President.
Details: 63.5 lakh healthcare workers received both vaccine doses
The central government had started the inoculation drive for healthcare workers from January 16.
According to reports, 94.7 lakh healthcare workers have taken the first dose while 63.5 lakh have received both the doses.
The IMA has also set up a COVID Martyrs Fund from which Rs. 1.6 crore have been disbursed to the families of the deceased doctors so far.
History: Earlier, Centre said 162 doctors died, IMA rejected the data
Earlier this year, the central government had said that 162 doctors died of COVID-19 last year.
However, the IMA expressed shock and condemned the "apathy" of the government, saying the data was far from the actual figure. The medical organization pegged the number at 734.
It also urged the government to recognize the "hard work and contribution by our doctors."
Incidents: Last year, several incidents of attacks on doctors were reported
Last year, numerous incidents of attacks on doctors and healthcare workers on COVID-19 duty were reported from several states across India.
In view of the incidents, the government announced stricter rules saying those attacking health workers could be jailed for up to seven years and charged a penalty of Rs. 1-5 lakh.
Such cases would also be investigated within a month, the government said.
Situation: The COVID-19 situation in India
After managing to largely control the pandemic, India is now faced with world's worst COVID-19 outbreak.
It has been reporting lakhs of new infections and hundreds of deaths daily amid acute shortages of medical oxygen, hospital beds, medicines, and other necessities.
In the last 24 hours, India logged 4.12 lakh fresh coronavirus cases and 3,980 more fatalities - the country's worst COVID-19 figures yet.