The Indian Medical Association (IMA), a national voluntary organisation of doctors, have released a state-wise breakup of the number of doctors who lost their lives in the second wave of the pandemic. According to its registry, a total of 269 doctors succumbed to the coronavirus across the country in the second wave of infections.
The data pegs Bihar as the state with the highest number of deaths among doctors in India, with 78. This was followed by Uttar Pradesh, with 37 deaths of doctors. The national capital stood at the third place with 28 doctors in Delhi having lost their lives in the second wave. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana followed in the list with 22 and 19 doctors having lost their lives respectively. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and West Bengal were the other states where the figures of doctors having lost their lives were in double digits. While Goa and Puducherry reported one death each, Haryana, Kerala, Tripura and Uttarakhand reported two deaths each.
In February, the IMA had expressed shock over the underreporting of the total death of doctors due to the coronavirus infection by the Union government in the first wave. While Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey had announced at the time that 162 doctors, 107 nurses and 44 ASHA workers had lost their lives to the coronavirus in the country, the IMAâ€™s figures were starkly different. IMA President Dr JA Jayalal conveyed in a letter to Choubey that, according to the association, 744 doctors had lost their lives to the coronavirus as on February 3.
In the letter, Dr Jayalal also pointed out that, despite doctors suffering a higher viral load and a higher case fatality ratio as a community, they choose to serve the nation in the best traditions of the medical profession. The letter had also raised the issue of delay in disbursing the solatium for the COVID-19 victimsâ€™ families, which has been a request the association has made time and again.
In April 2021, before the second wave began, IMA had revealed that 756 doctors had died in a year, but the union government had disbursed the compensation only to the kin of 168 deceased doctors. Till date, the remaining over 600 doctors have not allegedly received even half the sum as promised by the government. The families are forced to submit several reports to prove the death due to COVID-19.