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PG student of MMC died due to COVID-19, Directorate of Medical Education concludes

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This comes three months after Dr. Lokesh Kumar was found dead in a hotel room where he was under quarantine following COVID-19 duty

The Directorate of Medical Education (DME), which formed a special committee to look into the cause of the death of 24-year-old N. Lokesh Kumar, a postgraduate medical student of Madras Medical College/Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), has concluded that his death was due to COVID-19. The Directorate has initiated the process of granting financial assistance to the doctor’s family.

Dr. Lokesh Kumar, a first-year PG student of RGGGH, was found dead in a hotel room where he was under quarantine following COVID-19 duty on October 26, 2020. The Hindu had reported on February 17 that his family, who had received no information on what caused his death for more than three months, had accessed autopsy reports that indicated the cause of death was “complications of pneumonia”. They obtained the post-mortem, histopathological and viscera analysis reports.

E. Theranirajan, dean of RGGGH, had sought the opinions of the Directors of Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Radiology on the autopsy reports, and submitted a final consolidated opinion to the DME

R. Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education, said he received the report from the RGGGH dean following which a special committee comprising the heads of department of Radiology, Pathology and Forensic Medicine of RGGGH was formed on February 18. “We included experts in the committee. The heads of the Department of Forensic Medicine of Government Kilpauk Medical College and Department of Medicine, RGGGH, were also a part of the committee. We held a discussion on the same day,” he said.

“As per the autopsy reports, there were no external and internal injuries on his body. He had bilateral pneumonia with right lower lobe consolidation. The clinical features are suggestive of COVID-19. So, we have concluded that his death may be associated with COVID-19. We have sent a letter to the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services, which is the claim authority, for grant of financial assistance for COVID-19 warriors. The report has also been submitted to the Health Secretary,” he said.

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