NEW DELHI: At least 34 doctors have died in India in April so far due to coronavirus infection as a fierce second wave of the pandemic swept the country, details released by the Indian Medical Association on Monday showed.
The youngest doctor who succumbed to the infectious disease was just 28 years old, a resident doctor in Maharashtra, while two others were in their 30s, as per the compilation by the largest body of doctors in the country.
The majority of the doctors who have lost lives in the second wave however were aged 50-70 years but there is a considerable number of those who were in the 40–49-year age group.
The highest number of doctor fatalities --5 each --were reported from Bihar and Maharashtra while 4 each died in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Ravi Wankhedkar, a senior member of the association told The New Indian Express that the body is now trying to ascertain the Covid vaccination status of each of the doctors who have passed away after contracting Covid-19.
The coronavirus vaccination drive which started in the country on January 16 first opened for healthcare workers and the Centre had recently said that over 80% of healthcare workers had taken at least the first jabs out of the two-jab vaccination schedule.
Last year, over 730 doctors across India had died due to the contagious disease across the country as per the IMA data but the Union government had maintained, in response to several questions in the Parliament, that it has not tracked the numbers.
Under a Rs 50 lakh insurance scheme as part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package, meant for healthcare workers who die in the line of Covid19 duty, only 287 claims had been settled till a week back, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said. Of these 287 claims, families of nearly 162 doctors had benefitted from the scheme.
While the government has said that the rate of breakthrough infections is minuscule post vaccinations as observed in India so far, authorities in the IMA said that details of the vaccination status of the doctors who died will give a clearer picture on shots’ effectiveness against severe disease and death in the real world.