The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday said that 594 doctors died during the more infectious second wave of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in the country. A chart showing the state-wise distribution of the fatalities in India was published by the organisation, and shared by news agency ANI on social media.
Of the 594 doctors who died of Covid-19 during the second wave of the pandemic, the most were in the national capital, Delhi, which became one of the worst-hit hotspots in India during this phase, the data showed. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand were close on their heels, with all of these states witnessing the deaths of scores of doctors during the second wave of Covid-19.
The data shared by IMA showed that as many as 107 doctors had died in Delhi during the second wave. Bihar saw the deaths of 96 doctors, while 67 died in Uttar Pradesh, 43 in Rajasthan, and 39 in Jharkhand, too. However, the IMA being a voluntary organisation of physicians in India, it is possible that the actual number of fatalities far exceeds these statistics, since the association only keeps a record of its 3.5 lakh members, out of the 12-lakh-odd doctors in the country.
The IMA data, however, provides a reliable approximation of the physician community’s plight in India, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The five states which saw the highest number of deaths of doctors during this phase, according to the IMA, are:
1. Delhi (107)
2. Bihar (96)
3. Uttar Pradesh (67)
4. Jharkhand (39)
5. Andhra Pradesh (32)
On a related note, the IMA has also recently raised its voice against violent incidents directed against doctors, healthcare staff, and healthcare establishments with or without reason. These incidents of healthcare violence have increased over the years and have become widespread and pose threat to the medical practice, it said.
The IMA has urged Union home minister Amit Shah to consider its appeal on an emergency basis and implement an effective and strong law “against healthcare violence”, to safeguard the healthcare professionals of the country.