New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday demanded the country's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna for doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff who were at the frontline of India's battle against the deadly COVID-19 crisis.

In a Tweet, Kejriwal said that giving a Bharat Ratna would be a "real tribute" to those healthcare professionals, who lost their lives against the COVID-19 infection.

"The 'Indian Doctor' should receive Bharat Ratna this year. 'Indian Doctor' means all doctors, nurses and paramedics. It will be a true homage to all martyred doctors. It will be an honour for those who have been serving without caring for their lives and families. The whole country will be glad at this," Kejriwal said in a Tweet in Hindi.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also hailed the contributions of doctors and healthcare staff and thanked them for their "tireless service" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our doctors are facing this new and fast mutating virus on the basis of their experience and expertise. Despite the limitations of long-neglected medical infrastructure and pressure of population, India's per lakh population rate of infection and death rate is still manageable compared to even developed countries," he had said.

Ever since the country got hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and healthcare staff have been on the frontline, saving lives of lakhs. However, over 1,400 doctors and healthcare professionals have lost their lives as per the Indian Medical Association (IMA) due to COVID-19 in India.

The IMA said that 748 doctors had died in the first wave of the pandemic while 730 had succumbed to the infection in the second surge. Bihar saw the maximum number of 115 deaths, followed by Delhi at 109, Uttar Pradesh 79, West Bengal 62, Rajasthan 43, Jharkhand 39, and Andhra Pradesh 38, it said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma