Covid: IMA prez backs think-tank's demand for memorial for doctors, other HCWs

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (PTI) A proposal to build a national memorial to honour the contribution of doctors and other members of the medical fraternity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those healthcare workers who died in the line of duty, has been backed by the IMA chief, a think-tank said on Thursday.

A large number of doctors, nurses and other frontline workers of the country have died while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020.

At a press conference held here, city-based think-tank Integrated Health & Wellbeing (IHW) Council, said, the demand for a befitting memorial to them was initiated by it during the first wave of the pandemic as part of its national thanksgiving initiative.

Now, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has backed this initiative, a spokesperson of the think-tank claimed.

'Since last year, COVID-19 has remained a prolonged, war-like experience globally, which has been fought by healthcare workers and frontline workers. While selflessly and relentlessly fighting at the frontline, 1,524 doctors have made the supreme sacrifice so far,' Dr J A Jayalal, National President, IMA, was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the IHW Council.

This 'Gratitude Memorial' will be a befitting tribute to all doctors, healthcare workers, and all other frontline workers who have been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, 'just like war memorials recount the experience of war and immortalise the sacrifice of soldiers,' he said.

Moreover, it would generate a sense of thanksgiving among people and the coming generation, acknowledging the overall contribution of doctors and the medical fraternity for humanity, the IMA chief said.

The two organisations during the press conference on Thursday said that they will be 'jointly writing' to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to set up a national and a Delhi state memorial, respectively, the statement said.

The think-tank has been running both a public campaign and highlighting its demand on various health forums, it said.

Many Union ministers, lawmakers and industry leaders and organisations have 'supported' the initiative, the think-tank claimed.

'No words are enough to thank the doctors and all other frontline workers - all of them have contributed in their own way to our safety and well-being. As Indians, it is our collective moral responsibility to honour their immeasurable contribution in keeping us safe and healthy despite the challenges they face,' said Kamal Narayan, CEO, IHW Council.

The Council, in its statement, also claimed that the initiative was being supported by the Indian Alliance of Patient Groups (IAPG) and several other organisations representing the industry, patient support groups and civil societies, and that it will also be writing to all the chief ministers in the country, to dedicate similar memorials in their respective states.

The Council will also pursue private establishments, such as malls, and organised markets, educational institutions and even hospitals, to set up local memorials for doctors so that visitors to such places can remember the sacrifices made by the healthcare workers, the statement said. PTI KND KJ

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