The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of at least 270 doctors across the country, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said.
Of these deaths, 50 were recorded on Sunday (May 16) alone, with Bihar accounting for the lion’s share at 78 deaths, followed by Uttar Pradesh (37) and Delhi (29).
An NDTV report said only 3 per cent of the deceased had been vaccinated.
The list of the deceased doctors includes former IMA president Dr KK Aggarwal, who succumbed to the deadly virus on Monday.
According to the IMA COVID-19 registry, 748 doctors succumbed to the disease in the first wave of the pandemic.
“Last year, 748 doctors across India succumbed to COVID-19, while in the current wave, in a short period, we have lost 270 doctors,” the medical body said in a statement.
“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 said.
Of the 270 doctors, 26-year-old Anas Mujahid, a junior resident doctor at Delhi’s Guru Tej Bahadur Hospital was the youngest to be claimed by the second wave. He died within hours of testing positive.
His friend Dr Aamir Sohail, who too is battling the disease, told NDTV that Anas had minor symptoms like sore throat and tested positive in an antigen test. He had collapsed soon after and died due to intracranial bleeding, he said.
“It was shocking. He had no co-morbidity. His parents also told us that he has never faced any health issue. We just could not understand how it happened,” Sohail said.
Stating that Anas had not been vaccinated, Sohail said the process isn’t easy for doctors who have long working hours.
“He had not been vaccinated. Many colleagues here, including me, have not taken the jab. Our process of getting vaccination while being on COVID duty is long. We have to inform superiors and get their signature etc. He (Anas) was planning to get the jab in the next few days,” he told NDTV.
Calling the deaths of 50 doctors in a single day “unfortunate”, Dr Jayesh Lele, general secretary of IMA told NDTV that hospitals are severely understaffed and puts pressure on doctors to work longer shifts, some even stretching to 48 hours.
“This adds to the viral load and they ultimately succumb to the infection. The government needs to take measures to boost the healthcare workforce,” he said.