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Centre, IMA’s data differ on death of doctors due to COVID-19

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At a time when several state governments are facing criticism over alleged data manipulation related to COVID-19 infections and deaths, a major difference in the data between the Centre and Indian Medical Association (IMA) over deaths of doctors due to the deadly viral infection has come to the fore.

While the Union government in Rajya Sabha claimed that 162 doctors have died until now due to COVID-19 in the country, IMA has expressed shock on the data. It has clarified that 734 doctors have so far lost their lives due to the viral infection. Of these 734 doctors, 431 were general physicians.

IMA also appealed that a high-power committee is constituted by the government to do a thorough study of the entire data of deceased doctors and that all those who had succumbed to the disease shall be honoured.

Ashwini Kumar, the minister of state for health, on Tuesday, informed the Rajya Sabha that COVID-19 has so far claimed the lives of 162 doctors, 107 nurses and 44 ASHA workers in the country.

IMA letter to Centre

In a letter to Choubey, IMA president JA Jayalal stated that the Centre’s figures were contrary to the data released by the medical body. According to IMA data, 734 doctors lost their lives due to the disease, of which, 431 were general practitioners. Also, 25 doctors who died were below the age of 35, it said in the letter.

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Jayalal, in his letter, also stated that doctors suffer a higher viral load and Case Fatality Ratio as a community.

 “They still choose to serve the nation in the best traditions of the medical profession. The Government of India failed to acknowledge this fact and give due significance and recognition,” the letter stated.

Delay in disbursing solatium

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) also condemned the “apathy” of the government in verifying the data and “delaying disbursement of solatium for COVID-19 martyrs’ families”.

 “We are writing to you at this juncture to appropriately endorse the hard work and contribution by our doctors in flattening the COVID curve in India. We fervently appeal to you to expedite the process of giving solatium to families at the earliest possible time.

 “We appeal that a high-power committee should be constituted by the government to make a thorough study of the entire data of deceased doctors and all those who had succumbed shall be honoured,” the letter added.

 

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