“Shocked” by the underreporting of the deaths of doctors caused by Covid-19, the Indian Medical Association has urged the Centre to form a high-power committee to review data on doctors who have succumbed to viral infection in the past one year.
While the Center announced that 162 doctors died from Covid-19, database containing the names of 744 doctors was published by the association.
We strongly condemn the apathy of Government of India in verifying the data given by Indian Medical Association and also the delay in disbursing solatium for the COVID Martyrs families : @IMAIndiaOrg https://t.co/JHNXoS7LZZ
— IMA-JDN (@imajdnnational) February 3, 2021
In a letter to Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Association President Dr J A Jayalal condemned the apathy of the Center to release data and defer solatium to “families of martyrs.”
In a reply to a question from Kerala MP Binoy Viswam (CPI) on Tuesday, the Minister told the Rajya Sabha that 162 physicians, 107 nurses and 44 ASHA staff had succumbed to the viral infection.
Although this information was based on intimation obtained from states on healthcare workers as per the insurance scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, the Indian Medical Association provided data stating that in the last year 734 doctors, including 89 from Tamil Nadu, had lost their lives due to Covid-19.
Of these, 431 were general practitioners in India, who were the people’s first point of contact. At least 25 of these doctors are below the age of 35,’ he said.
In the devastating pandemic, Dr Jayalal said in his letter, the frontline warriors of modern medicine had battled with altruism and lost their lives in the bargain, but the Centre had not reported the roll of honour or the required data on these fatalities.