AS India ramps up vaccination of health-care professionals in its bid to curtail the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the country’s main association of physicians said on Thursday that over four times as many doctors had died than the government has said.
The association said that 734 doctors had died from the disease and not 162 as the government informed the parliament.
Doctors and front-line health workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic in the country of 1.3 billion, which has seen 10.8 million infections – second only to the U.S. – and 154,703 deaths.
Around 45 per cent of the targeted 9.6 million health-care professionals had been given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine between Jan. 17 and Tuesday and it was critical that all of them came forward to take the vaccine, Health Ministry officials said.
The latest countrywide survey for COVID-19 antibodies has revealed that about 21.5 per cent of the adult population had been exposed to the virus, according to the country’s top medical research body.
The Indian Council of Medical Research survey covered more than 35,000 individuals across 21 states between Dec. 17 and Jan. 8.
“This indicates that a large population is still vulnerable,” VK Paul, who heads the federal government’s COVID-19 task force, said.
Paul said given the trajectory of the disease in countries like the U.S., Britain, Germany and Russia, where there were second or multiple waves, it was essential for people to come forward and take the vaccine and to continue following all precautions.
India since early January has consistently reported a downward trend of new infections and deaths.
– Feb 04, 2021 @ 19:08 GMT