- The Padma Shri award winner had been on ventilator support
- Dr Aggarwal, a cardiologist, also headed the Heart Care Foundation
- His family wrote: "He wanted his life to be celebrated and not mourned"
KK Aggarwal, a former president of the Indian Medical Association and a prominent face of the medical fraternity in the country, died last 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.
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.
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.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was among those who paid tribute to the distinguished doctor.
"The 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 and marginalized. A great human being. RIP!" - he tweeted.
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!— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 18, 2021
"My heartfelt condolences at the passing away of former Indian Medical Association president, Padma Shri Dr KK Aggarwal. His services as a doctor shall always be remembered. May God give strength to his family members to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace," wrote Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
"We lost a great doctor today," was a tweet by "AIIMS Doctors Unity"