Karnataka would build a memorial in Bengaluru for doctors who died due to Covid-19 during the pandemic, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar said on Thursday.
"The memorial, to be the first in the country, will be built at the Arogya Soudha in the city housing the health department to commemorate the doctors who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while treating Covid patients in government and private hospitals across the state," said Sudhakar, marking the National Doctors' Day celebrated on July 1 every year.
According to the health department, about 700 doctors have died on Covid duty across the southern state since May last year.
"As frontline warriors in the battle against the virus, several doctors, nurses and paramedics died on Covid duty. They are remembered as martyrs," said Sudhakar, who's a medical doctor by profession.
"A model will be designed soon for erecting the memorial where people can come and pay their homage to the martyred doctors, just as public pays respect to martyred soldiers at the War Memorial in Delhi," he added.
Participating at the Doctors' Day event organised by the Indian Medical Association's (IMA) state chapter, the minister expressed gratitude to the doctors, healthcare workers and frontline warriors for their service and sacrifice in the fight against coronavirus.
As part of ramping up the healthcare infrastructure in the state, the health department has recruited about 4,000 doctors in the last six months to treat Covid patients across the state.
Condemning the attacks on doctors and medical staff, Sudhakar said that people should not take law into their hands, as health warriors try their best to save patients till their last breath.
"Legal action will be taken against those assaulting the doctors on duty for the death of Covid patients. The offenders will be jailed for 5-7 years," he said.
Recalling the services of visionary doctor late B.C. Roy, whose birth anniversary is celebrated as Doctors' Day, the minister said the former West Bengal Chief Minister's contribution to the medical field was immense, as he inspired the medical fraternity by his ideals.
Born on July 1, 1882, Bidhan Chandra Roy was a noted physician, educationist, freedom fighter and statesman, who served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1948 until his death on July 1, 1962.