Renowned infectious disease expert Dr Rajendra Kapila dies of COVID-19
Photo Credit: Twitter/@Prof_Dr_RAS

Eminent doctor and professor at US-based Rutgers University Dr Rajendra Kapila passed away at a Delhi hospital where he was admitted after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 81.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, Dr Kapila, who had returned to India earlier this year, was admitted to a private hospital in Delhi where he died on April 28. Dr Kapila and his wife Dr Deepti Saxena Kapila had taken had got both the doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the US. Dr Kapila and his wife were to return to the US in April but had to cancel the trip after the professor tested positive for coronavirus.

Dr Kapila worked in Rutgers University for the last 50 years and specialised in infectious diseases.

According to a message from the varsity, Kapila, an MD and professor of medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, has for 50 years served as a "foundational pillar" of the New Jersey Medical School, the Martland Hospital and the University Hospital where "he provided care to tens of thousands of patients and trained numerous generations of medical students, residents and fellows."

"A genuine giant in the field of infectious diseases, Dr Kapila was recognised world-wide and sought out for his legendary knowledge and extraordinary clinical acumen in diagnosing and treating the most complex infectious diseases," it added.

In a separate message on Twitter, Robert A Schwartz, a professor at Rutgers University and Member of the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS said: "Condolences to the family of Rajendra Kapila, the Rutgers University, physician, and US Army veteran who advocated for the finest healthcare attainable for all. He will be remembered for his unmatched sagacity and conduct exemplarily of the AOA society motto."

As per his profile on the Rutgers University website, Dr Kapila received his pre-medical degree from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta and medical degree from Delhi University.

After completing his residency in Irwin Hospital, Dr Kapila moved to the US, where he interned, became a resident and fellow at Martland Hospital in Newark. He was also Assistant Chief of Medicine for the US Army in Okinawa, Japan during the Vietnam conflict. He was a founding member of the New Jersey Infectious Disease Society, and has also received the Excellence in Teaching Award from UMDNJ.

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