270 docs have died in second wave : IMA
NEW DELHI, May 18
The Indian Medical Association said on Tuesday that the country lost 270 doctors in the second wave of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, which has been more deadly and fast spreading. Former IMA president Dr KK Aggarwal was the latest to succumb to the deadly infection on Monday.
According to the State-wide data released by the medical body, Bihar saw the maximum number of 78 deaths of medical practitioners, followed by Uttar Pradesh (37), Delhi (29) and Andhra Pradesh (22).
The IMA said that 748 doctors succumbed to the disease in the first wave of the pandemic.
"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 Dr JA Jayalal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The IMA president said that last year 748 doctors across India succumbed to Covid-19, while in the current wave, in a short period, 270 doctors have lost their lives.
“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,” Dr Jayalal told a news agency.
IMA general secretary Dr Jayesh Lele said that many doctors have not taken the vaccine and the organisation is doing all it can to inoculate the workers.
“We want to highlight that the doctors are understaffed and overworked. They sometimes work for 48 hours at a stretch without any rest. This adds to the viral load and they ultimately succumb to the infection,” he added.
The doctors and other healthcare and frontline workers were inoculated in the first phase of the Nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme which started on January 16 this year. The programme was latest expanded to first include those above the age of 60, and later opened for 45-plus category.
From May 1, those in the age group of 18-44 became eligible for Covid-19 vaccine shots in the third phase of inoculation drive.
On Monday, the Union Health Ministry said that the cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 18.44 crore.
Among the people who were given 18,44,22,218 doses were 96,58,913 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose and 66,52,200 who have taken the second dose; 1,44,97,411 Frontline Workers (FLWs) who have received the first dose and 82,16,750 who have taken the second dose.
On day 122 of the vaccination drive (May 17), 14,79,592 vaccine doses were given, the Ministry said.
The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from Covid-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the Ministry added.