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Our saviours are also dying of COVID-19

By Ishika Sahni

Union health minister Dr Harshavadhan's assertion on coronavirus in parliament, which had no term on the doctors who demised in the line of duty, and his junior minister's assertion that the Centre had no details as health is a state matter, has angered the Indian Medical Association. Blaming the government of "abdication", "indifference" and "abandonment of heroes", the country's top body of medical professionals told in such a situation, the government "loses the moral authority to administer the Epidemic Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act".

Till now, 382 doctors have demised of coronavirus, the IMA said. In the list released, the youngest doctor to lose his life was 27 years old and the oldest was 85. But at the same time accepting the contribution of healthcare workers throughout the pandemic, the health minister made no acknowledgement of the medical professionals lost to the disease, the IMA said. The IMA aimed to Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey's statement that the Union government doesn't have any compensation data as public health and hospitals come under the states.

In March, the Union Health Ministry had declared that 22.12 lakh for public healthcare providers, along with community health workers, will get 50 lakh insurance cover under a national scheme. This was the second time in two days that the government faced disapproval over the lack of critical details.

The Centre came under opposition disapproval following asserting in a written reaction that it had no details on the migrant labourers who died at the time of lockdown and so any question on compensation "does not arise".


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