As many as 264 doctors across the country have succumbed to Covid-19 so far, the Indian Medical Association said Friday, cautioning that its numbers may not reflect the true scale of infection in the medical community and calling on the Centre to publish data in this regard.
According to IMA’s numbers, 1,953 doctors have been infected with Covid-19 till August 21. The count includes 890 practicing doctors, 767 resident doctors and 296 house surgeons.
“The government authorities may have their own data, but data on the number of infections and deaths in the medical community is based on what is voluntarily disclosed by our IMA members. Due to stigma it is likely that doctors might not have reported cases,” said Dr R V Asokan, honorary secretary general of IMA (national).
For instance, Maharashtra is the state with the highest number of cases. On Friday, it reported 6.57 lakh cases and more than 21,600 deaths. So far, 17 doctor deaths have been linked to the coronavirus. State epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate said 2,032 doctors in the state have been infected and 1,594 of them have recovered.
Dr Asokan urged the Centre to publish data on healthcare personnel who have been infected by the coronavirus or died because of it. As cases rise the number of fatalities, too, is likely to increase by mid-October, he added.
Former IMA national president Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, now treasurer with World Medical Association, said it is likely that the number of doctors infected with Covid-19 is much higher than what the IMA data indicates.
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