'Picture abhi baaki hai': Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri & former IMA chief, dies of COVID-19 at 62

Picture abhi baaki hai: Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri & former IMA chief, dies of COVID-19 at 62

New Delhi: KK Aggarwal, a former president of the Indian Medical Association and a prominent face of the medical fraternity in the country, died on Monday night of Covid. The Padma Shri award winner had been on ventilator support at Delhi's AIIMS hospital for the past few days, according to his family.

Significantly, his informational videos were widely viewed by Indians at home on their screens and had come to rely upon his advice in the last one year.

Dr Aggarwal, 62, died at 11.30 pm on Monday "after a lengthy battle with Covid", said an official statement on his Twitter account. He had taken both vaccine doses.

"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 over 100 million people through numerous videos and educational programs and saved countless lives," said the statement.

Speaking about Dr. Aggarwal, his friend, a colleague Dr. TS Kler, Chairman at Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute and a fellow Padma Shri winner, remembered him as a hardworking man with a zeal to change the education sector for good.

"I have known KK for the last 30 years that is since I came to Delhi. I remember how he developed interest in health education ad was running a journal since he was associated with Moolchand Hospital. He was very active in health event. Every year he used to have a health event where he would invite many of us experts. I do not know how he compiled the emails of so many doctors and made us all come under one roof. He has worked really hard and during Covid too he was highly active. It came to me as a shock when I came to know about the news. About 7 to 8 years back I had told that KK that he should become the MP for healthcare in India and he was capable of working on it," Dr. Kler said.

He further said that the feeling of his going is very intense. "I am feeling really bad. After hearing of this news, I said in our padma shree group that I feel as if God does not exist," he added.

Dr Aggarwal, a cardiologist, also headed the Heart Care Foundation of India. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010.

Since the pandemic broke out last year, he had been vocal on various aspects of the coronavirus and had posted several videos and statements to raise public awareness. After he took his second vaccine dose in February and had posted a Q and A video on Facebook to address hesitancy and misconceptions.

On April 30, Dr Aggarwal had shared a Facebook video taken when he was battling Covid and pneumonia. "I'm having Covid pneumonia which is progressive," he had said in the video that is going viral. "But even then remember Raj Kapoor's words - 'picture abhi baaki hai... the show must go on.'"

Towards the end, old videos were posted from his handle with a disclaimer that he was still in hospital and the account was being managed by his team.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also sent in his condolences and said, "Passing away of Dr. KK Aggarwal is a setback for the whole nation. He acted all his life for the health rights of common people especially poor, deprived n marginalized. A great human being. RIP!"

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