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As many as 734 doctors lost their lives due to the coronavirus while on duty between January last year till first week of February, according to the Indian Medical Association (IMA). Among these 59 doctors died in Gujarat. But the Gujarat government said that the global pandemic had claimed lives of 10 doctors in the state and ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh has been provided to the families of four. For the remaining six doctors, the proposals for the compensation is pending with the Centre Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, informed the House while responding to a question put up by the Congress legislator, Vajesing Panada from Dahod.
Patel also said that because two of the doctors had not served in the line of duty as per the PradhanMantri Garib Kalyan scheme, their proposals had not provided insurance to them.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Gujarat chapter has deferred expressed disagreement with the state government's data that only 10 doctors had succumbed to the disease. "Around 59 doctors have succumbed to the Covid. Of course, not all of them were serving with the public healthcare set ups, but as far as the deaths are concerned, we have lost 59 valuable lives," IANS quoted Devendra Patel, President of the IMA Gujarat chapter, as saying.
Chandresh Jardosh, former president of IMA Gujarat, also stated that they put the proposals for the compensation for the all the 59 doctors who died due to COVID-19 to the state as well as the central government, time and again. "But always we have had the same reply that your proposals are forwarded to the concerned departments," Jardosh was quoted as saying.
Last month, IMA president JA Jayalal wrote a letter to Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey condemning the "apathy" of the government in verifying the data and "delaying disbursement of solatium for COVID-19 martyrs' families". This came after Choubey had in early February informed the Rajya Sabha that 162 doctors, 107 nurses and 44 ASHA workers had died due to coronavirus in the country.
Expressing shock at the Centre's figures, Jayalal wrote to Choubey, to inform that the toll is much higher, and 734 doctors have lost their lives due to the disease, of which, 431 were general practitioners. Also, 25 doctors who died were below the age of 35, Jayalal stated in the letter. He also appealed the government to constitute a high-power committee to do a thorough study of the entire data of deceased doctors, and honour all those who had succumbed to the virus.
Indian Medical Association (@IMAIndiaOrg) February 3, 2021
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