After the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the Centre does not have any data on the death of healthcare workers due to COVID-19, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) published a list of 382 doctors who died across the country in the line of duty.
The apex body of medical associations said that with such statements the government has lost its 'moral authority to administer the Epidemic Act and the Disaster Management Act.'
When asked about the number of healthcare staff which includes doctors, nurses, medical staff and ASHA workers, who died from COVID, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey had said that health was a state subject and such data was not maintained at Central level.
"To feign that this information doesn't merit the attention of the nation is abominable," the IMA statement read. "It appears that they are dispensable. No nation has lost as many doctors and health care workers like India," the statement added.
"This amounts to an abdication of duty and abandonment of the national heroes who have stood up for our people. IMA finds it strange that after having formulated an unfriendly partial insurance scheme for the bereaved families to struggle with the ignominy of the Government disowning them altogether stares at them," it further said.
Such statements expose the "hypocrisy of calling them corona warriors on one hand and denying them and their families the status and benefits of martyrdom."
According to the IMA COVID-19 data on September 16, as many as 2,238 doctors were infected with coronavirus and of 382 of them lost their lives, a senior official of the doctors' body said.