CHENNAI: Sixty-three doctors have died due to COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, of whom 12 are from Chennai, according to data released by the Indian Medical Association Headquarters, Delhi.
The association has published a list of 382 doctors who died of COVID-19 and the majority of them are general practitioners.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the association said, "We demand they be acknowledged and treated as martyrs. Their families and children deserve solace and solatium from the national government."
Dr Rajan Sharma, National President, IMA, and R V Asokan, Honorary Secretary General, IMA, in the press release said, "Honorable Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's statement in parliament acknowledged the contribution of health care workers during this pandemic. It faithfully conceals the morbidity and mortality of doctors, nurses and health care workers. This indifference to the sacrifice of doctors and health care workers is the reality of COVID-19."
"It appears that they are dispensable. No nation has lost so many doctors and health care workers like India," they said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the data released by the IMA, the Tamil Nadu State Branch President Dr CN Raja said they are still collecting the figures in Tamil Nadu and have asked office bearers to submit relevant documents.
Dr Raja also said the data was released to demand relief from the government for the deceased doctors' families but the issue was getting politicised in Tamil Nadu.
"The purpose of releasing the data is to get a solatium from the state and Union governments. But that has not been met. Instead, the number is getting politicised and that has become a big headache for us. We have asked the state government itself to collect the data from the district levels and publish it openly. We have now learnt that the state government has instructed the joint directors of the health services in the districts to collect the data at the district level. So let them do it and publish the Tamil Nadu figures," Dr Raja said.