NEW DELHI: Padma Shri award winner and eminent cardiologist, Dr KK Aggarwal succumbed to Covid-19 late on Monday night at AIIMS, Delhi. Aggarwal, 62, was the former national president of the Indian Medical Association. He was on ventilator support since last week. According to a statement, he passed away at 11.30 pm after a “lengthy battle with COVID-19”. He is survived by wife Dr Veena Aggarwal, son Nilesh and daughter Naina.
A statement posted in the early hours of Tuesday on Aggarwal’s Twitter handle by his family said he wanted his life to be celebrated, not mourned. “Ever since he became a doctor, Padma Shri Dr KK Aggarwal has dedicated his life to the welfare of the public and raising health awareness. Even during the pandemic, he made constant efforts to educate the masses and was able to reach out to 100 million people through numerous videos and educational programmes and saved countless lives,” the statement read.
Around two weeks ago, Aggarwal was last seen on a Facebook video, on oxygen support battling Covid and pneumonia in the hospital. “The show must go on,” he said in the clip which went viral on Twitter.
Tributes poured in on social media after the sudden demise of the health expert. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was among them. “Passing away of Dr. KK Aggarwal is a setback for the nation. He acted all his life for the health rights of common people especially poor, deprived and marginalised. A great human being. RIP!,” he wrote on Twitter.
Aggarwal had received Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in 2010. He was also honoured with the Dr BC Roy Award. Aggarwal’s name was mentioned in the Limca Book of Records for training the highest number of people lifesaving techniques of hands-only CPR at one go. He had received both doses of vaccine. However, he had co-morbidities as he was suffering from Crohn’s disease and had pulmonary embolism three years ago, said family sources. Members of the fraternity hailed Aggarwal as an “iconic figure in mass education and awareness”.