As many as 624 doctors across India have died due to Covid-19 during the second wave of the pandemic, the Indian Medical Association said on Thursday, ANI reported.

Data compiled by the association showed that 109 doctors died in Delhi, the highest in the country. This was followed by 96 deaths in Bihar, 79 in Uttar Pradesh and 43 in Rajasthan.

Thirty-nine doctors died due of the infection in Jharkhand, 34 in Andhra Pradesh, 32 in Telangana and 31 in Gujarat. In West Bengal, 30 doctors died due to Covid-19. Twenty-three died in Maharashtra.

India has been struggling with a massive surge in coronavirus cases. The daily count of cases has reduced, but the number of deaths continues to be high.

On Thursday, India recorded 1,34,154 new coronavirus cases and 2,887 deaths. The country’s total count of infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in January 2020 rose to 2,84,41,986, and the toll went up to 3,37,989.

The second wave of Covid-19 put immense pressure on India’s health infrastructure. The country was left grappling with acute shortages of hospital beds, oxygen and medicines.

Frontline health workers have had to put in long, strenuous shifts to handle the rush of patients, risking exposure to the disease.

A junior doctor in Delhi, interviewed by in May, flagged several concerns like sub-standard PPE kits and the lack of soaps, hand sanitisers and disposable cups to drink water from at a makeshift Covid-care facility.

Also read: ‘Not worth the risk’: Why a junior doctor in Delhi quit her job at a makeshift Covid-19 facility

The doctor informed the authorities about the shortcomings in safety precautions for health workers. She claimed her grievances were not addressed, and tendered her resignation.

Apart from this, there have also been several incidents of assault on frontline workers in India. In one such case on Tuesday, a mob attacked a doctor at a Covid-19 care centre in Assam after a patient died during treatment. The police have arrested 24 suspects so far.

The doctor, identified as Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati, was posted in Assam’s Hojai district. A video circulating on social media showed the doctor being beaten up with a metal object. He was hospitalised and is reportedly stable now.

The Indian Medical Association’s Assam unit condemned the incident and called for swift action in the case.