New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore for the family of a senior doctor of the city government-run LNJP Hospital who died battling COVID-19, and said the society has 'lost a very valuable fighter'.
The 52-year-old doctor served in the front line of the war against the pandemic at the government facility, and died of novel coronavirus infection in an ICU of a private hospital on Sunday.
'Dr Aseem Gupta was a senior doctor, and was serving COVID patients for the last few months with his duty being in the ICU. His colleagues speak about the dedication and commitment with which he served patients,' Kejriwal said in an online press briefing.
The chief minister said, his wife, also a doctor, had contracted COVID-19 too, but has now recovered.
'It is because of people like him that we have been able to fight COVID-19. He is a big inspiration to us and we bow to his spirit of service to humanity. As a mark of honour, Delhi government will offer an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore to the family of Dr Gupta,' he said.
The chief minister also said that this is a small amount and someone's life is priceless. The amount will be given by the government on behalf of the country, and the people of Delhi, for the services rendered by the doctor, he said.
Earlier in the day, he had tweeted to pay tribute to Dr Gupta, who was battling the disease for the last two weeks at Max Hospital, where he succumbed to the illness early in the morning on Sunday.
'Dr Aseem Gupta, a senior doctor of LNJP Hospital succumbed to Covid yday. 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...,' Kejriwal tweeted.
The chief minister also said in his tweet that he has spoken to his wife and 'offered my condolences and support'.
'I spoke to his wife this morning, and had an extended talk,' he told reporters.
Gupta, a consultant anaesthesiologist died at Max Smart hospital, Saket in south Delhi, a private dedicated COVID-19 facility.
LNJP Hospital is a dedicated COVID-19 facility under the Delhi government. It recently completed 100 days of being declared a coronavirus facility.
A condolence meeting to pay respect to Dr Gupta was held in the office of the Medical Director of the hospital, a senior official said.
Lt Governor Anil Baijal also tweeted to express his condolences: '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 frontline doctors and health workers. My utmost sympathies are with family members !'. The LNJP Hospital in a statement on Sunday had said, 'He was a frontline anaesthesia specialist who contracted COVID-19 infection while on duty. He tested positive on June 6, when he had mild symptoms and was shifted to a quarantine facility. His symptoms aggravated on June 7 and he was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of the LNJP Hospital.
He was shifted to Max Hospital, Saket on June 8 on his request, it said.
He was Specialist, Grade I, in the Department of Anaesthesia at the LNJP Hospital, the statement said.
Several hundreds of healthcare workers have been infected with COVID-19 till date in Delhi.
Kejriwal in his tweets also praised the city government-run facility, 'LNJP Hospital has displayed great fortitude in the face of acute challenges. It's recovery rate is going up, death rate is reducing, ICU capacity is being ramped up - the hospital is saving so many lives. 'DelhiFightsCorona'. PTI KND DV DV DV DV