18 May 2021: COVID-19: 270 doctors died in second wave, shows IMA data
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday said the country has so far lost 270 doctors in the raging second wave of COVID-19, which is wreaking havoc across India.
A staggering number of 50 fatalities among doctors was recorded on Sunday alone.
At 78, Bihar has registered the highest number of deaths of doctors due to COVID-19 in the second wave so far.
Details: After Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi reported most deaths
Other states that reported such deaths included Telangana (19); Maharashtra (13); Tamil Nadu (10); Karnataka and Odisha (8 each); Madhya Pradesh (5); Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir (3 each); Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, and Kerala (2 each); and Goa (1).
Vaccination: Only 3% of deceased doctors were inoculated: IMA president
IMA president JA Jayalal noted the second coronavirus wave is proving to be extremely fatal for all, especially those at the forefront battling the pandemic.
He said that only 3% of the deceased doctors had taken the COVID-19 vaccines, reported The Statesman.
"We have to actively increase vaccination cover among the medical staff to ensure that they have protection against the virus," he said.
Prime Minister: Strategy of beginning vaccination with doctors ensured their safety: PM
The IMA president's comments, however, are in contradiction to those of PM Narendra Modi, who said around 90% of India's health professionals have received their first COVID-19 dose.
In a video-conferencing interaction with doctors on Monday, the Prime Minister asserted the strategy of initiating India's vaccination drive with frontline warriors "paid rich dividends" in the second wave and ensured the safety of most doctors.
Age: Most doctors who died in second wave aged over 50
The oldest fatality due to COVID-19 recorded among doctors so far is that of Dr. S Satyamurthy (90), a Visakhapatnam-based retired ENT professor.
The majority of doctors who died in the second wave were aged above 50, but there's a substantial number of those aged below 45 years.
This also includes the youngest casualty of Dr. Anas Mujahid (25) from Delhi government-run GTB Hospital.
Information: At least 748 doctors died due to COVID-19 last year
Last year, at least 748 doctors died due to COVID-19 across the country, as per the IMA.
However, the Centre, in response to numerous queries in the Parliament, maintained that it has not tracked the numbers.
The actual number of fatalities may be higher. The IMA only maintains a record of its approximately 3.5 lakh members; however, India has over 12 lakh doctors.
Bihar: Family of only one deceased Bihar doctor received compensation: Report
Meanwhile, the family of only one of the doctors in Bihar who died of COVID-19 since 2020 received the government compensation so far, The Hindu reported.
The IMA's Bihar chapter even submitted memoranda regarding this to the government but it is "yet to respond."
To note, the Centre announced a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh, while the state government announced Rs. 4 lakh compensation.
Fact: Such a move demoralizes working doctors: Former Bihar IMA president
"It appears that both the Central and state governments have forgotten the services rendered by the doctors in this adverse condition... Such a move by the governments in delaying compensation to the families certainly demoralizes the working doctors", stated Dr. Sacchidanand, ex-IMA president, Bihar chapter.
Statement: Former IMA chief had highlighted emotional strain on medical personnel
Earlier this month, former IMA chief Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar said the suicide of Dr. Vivek Rai, a resident doctor at a Delhi-based private hospital, was nothing short of murder by the "system," which has created frustration "due to the shortage of basic healthcare facilities."
"This brings into focus the tremendous emotional strain healthcare workers are having while managing the COVID-19 crisis," he added.
Heartbreaking situation: Haryana: Doctor parents murdered by 'incompetent system,' alleges daughter
When Haryana-based Kiran Sharma lost her doctor parents to COVID-19 earlier in May within a span of three days, the incident drew widespread flak from the medical fraternity.
"They healed people all their life, my father came out of retirement to tend to patients, and he died for want of care. My parents were murdered by an incompetent system," Kiran told The Indian Express.
Also see: Uttar Pradesh prepared for third COVID-19 wave, says Yogi Adityanath
ICMR chief explains why COVID-19 second wave is affecting youngsters
126 doctors died of COVID-19 this year, says the IMA
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