Re1 crore ex-gratia for family of Lok Nayak doctor who died of Covid-19
Dr Aseem Gupta, a senior doctor of LNJP Hospital, succumbed to Covid-19 on Sunday.Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 03:55 IST
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 1 crore for the family of Dr Aseem Gupta, a professor of anaesthesiology and in-charge of Lok Nayak Hospital’s first Covid-19 intensive care unit, who died of Covid-19 on Sunday, describing him as a doctor known for going out of his way to serve his patients.
“Dr Aseem Gupta, a senior doctor of LNJP Hospital, succumbed to Covid yesterday (Sunday). He was known for going out of his way to serve his patients. We have lost a very valuable fighter. Delhi salutes his spirit and sacrifice. I just spoke to his wife and offered my condolences and support,” Kejriwal tweeted on Monday.
Expressing his condolences, lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal said, “Deeply saddened at the death of Dr Aseem Gupta of LNJP who served tirelessly in fight against Covid-19. He was a great warrior who brought glory to the front line doctors and health workers. My utmost sympathies are with family members!”
Gupta, who joined Lok Nayak hospital’s anesthesia department in 2004, was admitted at Max Smart Hospital in Saket with Covid-related complications since June 8. The 54-year-old had been in the ICU for almost two weeks.
His wife, Nirupama Gupta, is a radiologist in Ghaziabad, where the couple lived. The couple has two sons, one of whom is studying in Australia and other is studying medicine in Dehradun.
Dr Gupta’s colleagues in the anaesthesia department at Lok Nayak remember him as a person who was there for everyone who needed help.
“He was there, especially for the poor and those in need. He would work extra hours so that surgeries are done on time. He had a lot of contacts and he used them to help out people in need. He was also quite popular among resident doctors and spent time with them, which was apart from usual work-related conversations. He loved sports very much, and would sometimes get passes for cricket matches that he happily passed on to others. A very helpful chap; that is how we remember him in the department,” said associate professor, Dr Amit Kohli.
Some friends called him ‘Mr Dependable’'. “I knew him for 20 years, and he was absolutely dependable. He would never say no to anything within his reach. He would go out of way to help. He was easy to work with and totally non-controversial. He was so popular among the fraternity that he was slated to take over as secretary of the Indian Medical Association’s east Delhi branch on July 1. We were going to soon announce it as we knew he was improving well. We were told he was recovering well and would have been moved to a ward soon,” said Dr Vinay Agrawal, past national president, Indian Medical Association.
“He liked singing and dancing a lot. A total go-getter he was. No one expected the complication to arise,” Agrawal said.
“Will always remember Aseem fondly. He was senior resident in anaesthesia while I was in my second-year masters of surgery at KGMC Lucknow. For so many emergency cases, I would just run back to the senior resident in the anaesthesia duty room, and finding him sitting there would reassure me the case would go smoothly. He would say in his booming voice , ‘Aur, Amit, kya kaat raha hai aaj, chal saath mein kaateinge’,” (So, Amit, what are you cutting, let’s cut it together),” recalled Dr Amit Gupta, professor, department of surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.
“After I moved to Delhi, we could not meet that often but whenever we met, he would always say, ‘aur Amit, abhi tak kaat raha hai’ (So, Amit, you’re still busy cutting),” said Dr Gupta.
Infection among health care workforce is an area of concern, and Dr Gupta was also infected on duty. He was one amongthe scores of health care workers in the national Capital diagnosed with Covid-19.
Lok Nayak had last month lost a senior OT technician to Covid-19, with unconfirmed reports that three employees who recently died at RML Hospital also tested Covid positive.
Dr Jitendra Nath Pande, an eminent pulmonologist and former head of the department of medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, died of Covid-related complications in May.