MUMBAI: A 71-year-old physician and popular medical teacher from Matunga died of Covid-19 on Friday, a little over 48 hours after hospitalisation. Dr Ajit Chikhalikar, a gold medallist in MD medicine from KEM in Parel, had spent 25 years teaching in his institute before taking up private consultation.
He is believed to be the tenth medical practitioner to have succumbed to the infection from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The death figure among doctors is over 20 in the state.
The doctor died within two and a half days of admission at SL Raheja Hospital in Mahim, where he also consulted. His elder brother, Dr Pratap Chikhalikar, said he received a call from him around 6.30am on August 19. Ajit was breathless.
Dr Pratap said he rushed Dr Ajit to the hospital in Mahim, where he progressed from oxygen and ventilatory support in a matter of hours. “But nothing worked and he passed away on Friday around 5.30 pm,” Pratap said.
Condolences and messages started pouring from classmates and students the world over. Besides depth of his subject, he had one of the neatest handwritings, said colleagues. A sample of his case paper notes from October 1991 circulated among groups over the weekend, said a doctor.
“He was an extremely popular teacher and a brilliant clinician,” Dr Hiren Ambegaonkar, CEO of Raheja Hospital, said. He said the doctor went on ventilator within hours of admission. “He came in a very critical condition and we could not do much. His co-morbid conditions could have exacerbated the disease progression,” he said.
Dr Chikhlikar used to consult at Raheja and Wadia Hospital in Parel. His brother said he was consulting over video calls.
Dr Ambegaonkar said since their OPDs were not fully functional, he had not visited much lately. Dr Ajit is survived by two daughters.