Medical fraternity stood out in tackling COVID-19: Union health secy

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New Delhi, Jul 1 (PTI) The medical fraternity has stood out in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on the occasion of Doctor's Day on Thursday.

'Your (doctors) efforts will be recorded in golden letters in history. I salute the doctors and healthcare workers without whom the journey would not have been possible,' he said at a virtual event of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

It was organised to mark Doctors’ Day and pay tribute to healthcare professionals who lost their lives fighting the pandemic.

'For the last one year, India has been in a constant fight against the pandemic but the medical fraternity managed to stand out in tackling it. Real challenges were at the field level in the hands of the doctors,' Bhushan said.

Besides him, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul and AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria also attended the event organised by the doctors' body.

'We all have worked tirelessly in these challenging circumstances and yet kept the professionalism high. I salute the 'Corona Marytrs' and humbly pay my tribute to their service, sacrifice and patriotism. My heart goes out to their families. Their sacrifices made our country safe. I commend the IMA for its initiatives, including pledging to vaccinate as many people as possible,' Paul said.

Guleria highlighted the need to further push vaccination and said the biggest lesson learnt during the pandemic was that a lot can be done with the help of information technology (IT) without travelling a lot.

'The Last one year has put health in the centre stage. I pay my tribute to all 'corona warriors' who lost their lives. We need to push vaccines as much as possible. The biggest lesson learnt from COVID-19 is that a lot can be done without having to travel from one place to another. We are IT's child but we did not use IT that well,' he said.

Talking about the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, an insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19, Health Secretary Bhushan said, 'Central and state governments did their best to ensure that no stone is left unturned to fight the virus. All health care providers were covered under the scheme. I request that claims under this scheme be submitted in time.' He urged doctors and healthcare providers to continue adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour while noting that there can be a fatigue among doctors who have been following it since over a year.

Bhushan also highlighted the importance of tele-medicine services, saying they are 'absolutely critical'.

Former IMA national president Ketan Desai said that Doctors' Day should be commemorated as 'COVID Martyrs Day' for the huge sacrifice by doctors and healthcare providers.

'The pandemic of COVID-19 came like a tornado and caused massive devastation on humanity but doctors rose to the occasion in a selfless manner and fought the pandemic. Many doctors lost their lives and as a humble tribute to the doctors who were martyred during the fight against COVID-19, Doctors' Day should be commemorated as 'COVID Martyrs Day'' he said. PTI AG ANB ANB

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