Kolkata, June 29: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that a statewide holiday would be observed on July 1 - which is the National Doctor's Day. By observing the holiday, the state would express its mark of respect towards the healthcare professionals who are also the frontline warriors in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic.

Banerjee, while speaking to reporters, said she would also call upon the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre to announce a nationwide holiday on July 1 to honour the doctors and nurses of India amidst the fight against coronavirus.

"We have declared 1st July which is Doctor's day as state holiday to pay gratitude to doctors, nurses and others who are working as frontline warriors. I request Centre to declare it as a national holiday in respect of frontline warriors," Banerjee said.

Update by ANI

The Doctors' Day, observed annually in India on July 1 since 1991, comes this year amid a raging battle against coronavirus. With India being the fourth-worst affected nation in the world - in terms of caseload - the healthcare professionals are poised in one of the most difficult battles of the century.

Medics including nurses and doctors are working relentlessly since mid-March, often working for several days in a row to save as many lives as possible. PM Modi had, in March, asked the nation to bang utensils outside their homes as a mark of gratitude towards them.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 29, 2020 05:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).