A total of 270 doctors in India have died since the country’s latest surge of COVID-19 began in early April, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) announced.
That includes past IMA president K. K. Aggarwal, MBBS, MD, a 62-year-old cardiologist who had been on a ventilator at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi for a week before he died Monday night, according to a statement on his Twitter profile.
Another 748 doctors in the country have died since the pandemic started, according to the IMA, bringing the total to more than 1,000 physician deaths.
That figure is likely far higher since the association only tracks its 350,000 members; India has about 1.2 million doctors, according to reports.
IMA also shared physician death data by state, with the highest numbers in Bihar (78), Uttar Pradesh (37), and Delhi (28).
The youngest physician who died was Anas Mujahid, MBBS, a 26-year-old junior resident at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in Delhi. Reports in NDTV and Hindustan Times said he had minor symptoms including fever and sore throat, but died just a few hours after a positive COVID test due to intracranial hemorrhage. Mujahid had not yet been vaccinated, according to NDTV.
Only 3% of the doctors who died were fully vaccinated, NDTV reported. Only two-thirds of India’s healthcare workforce have been fully vaccinated against the disease, though 90% have had at least one dose, according to multiple reports.
“The second wave of the pandemic is turning out to be extremely fatal for all and especially for the healthcare workers who are at the forefront,” said IMA President J. A. Jayalal, PhD. “We have to actively increase vaccination cover among the medical staff to ensure that they have protection against the virus.”