The Indian Medical Association (IMA) says at least 594 doctors died during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between April and May.
Delhi, the nation’s capital, topped the list with 107 deaths, followed by Bihar with 96 fatalities and Uttar Pradesh with 67 deaths.
However, the IMA said it is possible that the actual number of fatalities far exceeds these statistics since the association only keeps a record of its members.
India was hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic — with a daily surge in cases crossing the 400,000 mark four times, and daily deaths surpassing 4,000 on several days.
But over the past few days, a decline in both new COVID-19 cases and deaths has been seen across the country.
Commenting on the development, Krati Varshney, a microbiologist at the COVID-19 care centre, said constant exposure to the virus might have led to so many casualties among the medical community.
“They died due to constant exposure. At times it becomes very difficult to maintain all precautions during the long duty hours at COVID care centres,.
“Even with PPE kits on, sometimes one gets accidentally exposed to the deadly virus,” she said.
Citing another reason, Varshney added that in most cases, doctors and medical staff had common washing and changing areas, which might have led to the transmission of the infection.
“In some cases, depression that crept in among the doctors during long and exhausting duty hours might have led to a reduction in overall immunity levels,” she added.
As of Wednesday, India has recorded 28,307,832 cases of the infection — and with 335,114 deaths.