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Eminent pulmonologist Dr JN Pande dies of COVID-19

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He was the former head of the Department of Medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Dr Jitendra Nath Pande, an eminent pulmonologist and former head of the Department of Medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, died at his residence on Saturday. He was 79.

Dr Pande and his wife tested positive for the infection recently with mild symptoms and they decided to remain in home isolation, said AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria.

But his wife was shifted to the AIIMS hospital on Saturday.

“We were following him up regularly and he said he was improving. Yesterday, he had his dinner and went off to sleep and then passed away in sleep possibly because of an acute cardiac event,” Dr Guleria said.

Dr Pande had co-morbid conditions.

“Knowledge and humility can coexist and Dr Pande was an epitome of that. He was an excellent human being and it is a great loss to the medical fraternity. AIIMS family will miss him the most because he joined AIIMS as an MBBS student and retired as the head of the Department of Medicine,” Dr Guleria said.

“I have closely worked with him and knew him since my childhood as he was the student of my father,” he added.

After his retirement in 2003, Dr Pande joined the Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research and worked there as a senior consultant in the Respiratory Medicine department.

“He was a legendary physician who had taught many practicing doctors at AIIMS and continued to mentor physicians even after joining this hospital. What was remarkable was that most difficult cases would come to him,” said the institute’s Director Abhishek Bhartia.

“I even spoke with him yesterday. He was under home care and seemed to be recovering.” 

Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and President of industry chamber FICCI said in a tweet, “Deeply saddened to hear that today. @covid19 claimed its most illustrious victim Dr JN Pande Director & Prof of Pulmonology @aiims_newdelhi.

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