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MARTYRS

Nearly 300 Indian doctors have lost their lives in the second wave of Covid-19

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Who will save the saviour?
  • Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma

Reporter

Published

India’s deadly second wave of Covid-19 has claimed the lives of almost 270 doctors.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), a voluntary organisation of medical professionals, yesterday (May 17) released a list of doctors who died in the line of duty battling the ongoing Covid-19 wave. The list includes K.K. Aggarwal, a 62-year-old former national president of the IMA, who died on May 17.

In the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, nearly 750 doctors had succumbed to the disease, as per IMA.

The eastern state of Bihar has seen the most doctor deaths this year, followed by India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh.

“The second wave of the pandemic is turning out to be extremely fatal for all and especially for the healthcare workers who are at the forefront,” IMA president JA Jayalal said in a press release.

Treat doctors as martyrs

In September last year, the IMA had demanded that the Indian government treat doctors who succumbed to Covid-19 as martyrs. The IMA said that it would help the families of the deceased to be eligible for the right compensation.

“…Their families and children deserve solace and from the government. IMA also urges the government to seek data from the representatives of nurses and other healthcare workers,” IMA president Rajan Sharma wrote to the government in September.

In a reply to a question in the parliament in September 2020, the government said that it hasn’t maintained any data related to the death of frontline healthcare workers. Reacting to this, the IMA had released a list of around 382 doctors who had lost their lives to Covid-19 until then. Criticising the government, the body had said not keeping a record of these deaths  “amounts to an abdication of duty and abandonment of the national heroes who have stood up for our people.”

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