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COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches Almost 200 Among Doctors in India

COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches Almost 200 Among Doctors in India

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Highlights :
  • Worldwide, healthcare workers are at significant risk of developing COVID-19
  • Indian Medical Association (IMA) writes a letter to PM as the number of doctors died as a result of COVID-19 is almost 200
  • WHO announcement on July 17th reported that about 10% of all COVID-19 cases reported globally are among healthcare workers.
  • There is a disparity in the number of doctor deaths in Tamil Nadu between IMA headquarters and IMA state

Worldwide, the number of coronavirus cases are continuously rising. The number of healthcare professionals affected by COVID-19 is substantially high and immediate attention and policies are required to protect the safety and well-being of the healthcare workers bravely saving thousands of people.

Healthcare Professionals Affected By COVID-19 in India

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi, for the safety of the doctors who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The IMA mentioned that an alarming number of 196 doctors have died due to COVID-19 across the country.

The numbers mentioned Tamil Nadu to be the state with the most number of doctor deaths associated with COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches Almost 200 Among Doctors in India

Most numbers of doctors who died from COVID-19 belong to the following states:
  • Tamil Nadu - 43 doctors
  • Maharashtra - 23 doctors
  • Gujarat - 23 doctors
  • Bihar -19 doctors
  • West Bengal - 16 doctors
  • Karnataka - 15 doctors
  • Andhra Pradesh - 12 doctors
  • Delhi - 12 doctors
In the report deaths it was also noted that-
  • Around 170 doctors out of 196 doctors were above the age of 50.
  • Around 40% of the doctors were general practitioners.
A significant number of people consult general practitioners when they have symptoms like fever. So, general practitioners remain the first point of contact.

Disturbing Reports

IMA also requested the government to provide safety to the doctors.

Several disturbing reports are suggesting that the doctors and their family members do not get sufficient drugs and beds for admission in the hospitals.

"For doctors and their families who are at special risk, the government must ensure timely and standardized care. Every life saved of a doctor directly benefits the thousands of patients who depend on them for medical care," said R.V.Ashokan, IMA's honorary secretary.

IMA has also asked to extend state-sponsored medical and life insurance facilities to doctors in all the sectors.

The Disparity between IMA Letter and Tamil Nadu Health Minister's Statement

The letter written by IMA (headquarters) to the PM of India suggested that Tamil Nadu had encountered 43 doctor deaths making it the highest figure in the country. However, the TN Health Minister C.Vijayabaskarhad claimd a lower figure at 22 doctors'death. The state IMA rejected this report.

The first doctor to lose his life to the infection was Simon Hercules of age 55. He was a neurosurgeon at a private hospital in Chennai. It is believed that Dr. Hercules contracted the virus from his patient.

Kalyanaraman from Thoothukudi and Sugumaran from Madurantakam GH are the two government doctors who lost their life due to COVID-19.

Majority of the doctors were between the age of 40 and 60, with few above 60.

The general secretary of the Doctors Association for Social Equality demanded the government to release the accurate list of doctors who have died from COVID-19.

Global Burden of COVID-19 on Health Care Workers

As of August 9th, the US has recorded 124,813 cases among Healthcare Personnel and 600 deaths of Healthcare personal due to COVID-19.

According to data from Amnesty International as of July 5th 2020
  • More than 230,00 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19, and more than 600 nurses have died from the diseases
  • 3000 healthcare workers have died from COVID-19 across 79 countries in the world
  • Russia has the highest number of healthcare worker deaths of 545
  • UK - England Wales have 540 healthcare worker deaths
  • The USA had 507 healthcare worker deaths
  • Brazil had 351 healthcare worker deaths
  • Mexico had 248 healthcare worker deaths
  • Italy had 188 healthcare worker deaths
According to the WHO announcement on July 17th, over 1.4 million COVID-19 infections occurred among health care workers and this amounted to 10% of all COVID cases globally.

In summary, worldwide and in India, there is an alarming number of healthcare workers affected by COVID-19. The government should take measures for the safety and well-being of healthcare workers by providing them with all safety measures including personal protection kits. In many countries, there have been shortages of these essential items. The healthcare worker also needs to be tested frequently and given priority when it comes to treatment.

References :
  1. IMA: Of 196 doctors who died of Covid-19, Tamil Nadu has lost most at 43 - (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/ima-of-196-doctors-who-died-of-covid-19-tamil-nadu-has-lost-most-at-43/articleshow/77441031.cms)
  2. Coronavirus | 'COVID-19 claims the lives of 104 doctors across the country' - (https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-covid-19-claims-the-lives-of-104-doctors-across-the-country/article32142311.ece)
  3. Coronavirus | Indian Medical Association data on death of doctors contradicts Tamil Nadu Health Minister's statement - (https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/death-data-released-by-ima-contradicts-ministers-statement/article32307059.ece)
  4. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html)
  5. Coronavirus latest: WHO says health workers account for 10% of global infections - (https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-who-says-health-workers-account-for-10-of-global-infections/a-54208221)
  6. Failures to Protect Health and Essential Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic - (https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/POL4025722020ENGLISH.PDF)
  7. UK among highest COVID-19 health worker deaths in the world - (https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uk-among-highest-covid-19-health-worker-deaths-world#)

Source: Medindia

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