CHENNAI: In the second wave of the pandemic, as many as 53 doctors from Tamil Nadu died from Covid-19 till the first week of August, said data collected by the Indian Medical Association.According to the State IMA members, in the first wave, 67 doctors had died, taking the tally to 120 in the second wave.
Last year in August, doctors deaths due to Covid triggered a controversy after the Indian Medical Association Headquarters released a data showing that 43 doctors in Tamil Nadu had died from Covid and its Tamil Nadu State’s branch said that the numbers were ‘incorrect’.
The issue became political after Udayanidhi Stalin, now MLA, had with data tweeted “A report reveals that TN tops in Covid-19 deaths of doctors. It’s a disgrace caused by the AIADMK government. The government, should clarify the condition of doctors treating infected patients and give them proper protection.”
After the tweet, the then Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, had condemned it and said legal action would be taken on people spreading false and unverified news on social media. Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced a solatium of Rs 25 lakh for 43 families of doctors who died due to Covid.Among them only two received the solatium and for others the government is in the process of giving it.
“Recently a GO has been passed on this. We are regularly updating the death report to the government,”said Dr A K Ravikumar, State Secretary, Tamil Nadu branch, Indian Medical Association.
“We request the government to extend solatium to the doctors who died in the second wave also,” said Dr Ravikumar.
Dr T Ramakrishnan, State President, IMA said,the data was collected from April 15 to till the first week of August. Indian Medical Association Headquarters is giving Rs 10 lakh to the families of the deceased doctors and the State IMA is also giving Rs 2 lakh.According to the Health Department data, 2.49 crore people were vaccinated till Monday, among them only 3.5 percent healthcare workers were vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association made a short film under the title “Covid Injustice” and dedicated it to the doctors, healthcare and frontline workers who died from Covid.Dr M Akilan, State President, TNMOA said,”We wanted to tell people how doctors’ lives are put at risk.”