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Indian-American infectious diseases expert dies after traveling to India to help with Covid

NRI Pulse Staff Report

Atlanta, GA, May 7, 2021: Dr. Rajendra Kapila, a distinguished professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a founding member of the New Jersey Infectious Disease Society has died of COVID-19 in India. He was 81.

The renowned infectious disease specialist passed away in Delhi on April 28 after having tested positive for Covid-19 on April 8. He had returned to Ghaziabad, India with his wife Dr. Deepti Saxena-Kapila in the last week of March to help care for his family. He was scheduled to fly back to the US by the second week of April but was admitted to a Delhi hospital where he passed away.

Dr. Deepti told the Hindustan Times that Dr. Kapila had got both doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the US.

The 81-year-old doctor suffered from diabetes and heart complications, according to media reports.

“Both Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and University Hospital are saddened by the untimely passing of Rajendra Kapila, MD, Professor of Medicine. For 50 years, Dr. Kapila served as a foundational pillar of New Jersey Medical School, the Martland Hospital and University Hospital where he provided care to tens of thousands of patients and trained numerous generations of medical students, residents and fellows,” Rutgers New Jersey Medical School said in a statement.

“A genuine giant in the field of infectious diseases, Dr. Kapila was recognized world-wide and sought out for his legendary knowledge and extraordinary clinical acumen in diagnosing and treating the most complex infectious diseases. Dr. Kapila founded the Division of Infectious Diseases and facilitated its continued and extraordinary growth and development into one of the leading infectious diseases programs in the country.”

Dr. Kapila received his Pre-Medical degree from St. Xaviers College Calcutta, W. Bengal, India and the Medical Degree from the University of Delhi, India, according to his bio on the Rutgers website. After completion of his residency in Irwin Hospital India, he moved to the US where he was an intern, resident & fellow at Martland Hospital in Newark, NJ. He was also Assistant Chief of Medicine for the US Army in Okinawa Japan, during the Vietnam conflict. Dr. Kapila received his UMDNJ University Appointment in 1973 and the University Hospital Appointment in 1976.

He is a founding member of the New Jersey Infectious Disease Society, and has also received the Excellence in Teaching Award from UMDNJ, and Life Time Achievement award from the Department of Medicine. Dr. Kapila is an attending physician and the Epidemiologist, University Hospital. Dr. Kapila is also the Chair of the Infection Control Committee.

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