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70-year-old Obstetrician And A General Practitioner From Karnataka Succumbed To COVID-19 Infection In The Line Of Duty

70-year-old, Dr Jagadish Rai, an obstetrician and a general practitioner working in a small town in coastal Karnataka for the last 40 years, contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty

70-year-old Obstetrician And A General Practitioner From Karnataka Succumbed To COVID-19 Infection In The Line Of Duty
  • Dr Jagadish Rai had his own clinic and was associated with a nursing home
  • Dr Rai had underlying leukemia which made him more vulnerable to COVID-19
  • Dr Rai was in hospital for 9 days before he lost the battle against COVID

New Delhi: “Our father derived ultimate pleasure in treating patients and being there for them in their times of need. He was always used to and preferred working long hours; his age or the Novel Coronavirus did not slow him down even during the pandemic. Even in his last days, as he lay on a hospital bed, he answered calls from his patients until breathlessness stole his ability to be coherent. This is the kind of dedication he showed to his profession that made him legendary in the community”, recalled Dr Shipra Rai, daughter of late Dr Jagadish Rai. In October, 70-year-old, Dr Jagadish Rai, an obstetrician and a general practitioner working in a small town in coastal Karnataka for the last 40 years, contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty and succumbed to the disease.

Also Read: COVID Warriors: ‘Stay At Home Unless Absolutely Necessary,’ Says Piyush, A COVID Nurse From Mumbai

Despite being a senior citizen and having underlying leukemia, Dr Jagadish Rai continued to work six and a half days a week even during a pandemic. The family said that it was his attachment and sense of responsibility towards his patients that made him continue to work in a small setup despite risks to his own health. Dr Rai added,

He has been the primary healthcare provider for many families through generations. He was someone who never took a day off even when he was sick just so his patients wouldn’t suffer.

70-year-old Obstetrician And A General Practitioner From Karnataka Succumbed To COVID-19 Infection In The Line Of Duty

Dr Jagadish Rai from Karnataka who contracted COVID-19 from a patient

Dr Rai said that her father’s affection towards his patients drew from a need to help people and the community after watching his father do the same as the village head. Talking about her father’s childhood and the early days of practice, Dr Rai said,

He was from a landed Bunt background and middle of 10 children to his parents. Although his father was a village head of several villages, money was always short in those days, and his father struggled financially to make him a doctor. He was one of the first doctors to start his practice at B.C. Road in Mangalore, Karnataka and had patients come to him from far and wide. He was one of those older generation gentleman doctors who were widely and affectionately referred to just as “Doctor Ji”, never by name. He came a long way in the 40 years that he practiced, from delivering babies on house visits to relatively modern methods in a hospital. He was available to his patients anytime day or night and derived utmost pleasure working and treating patients seven days a week.

Also Read: Meet 87-Year-Old Doctor Who Travels 15 Km Every Day To Treat Villagers In Maharashtra’s Chandrapur Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr Jagadish Rai had his own clinic and was associated with a nursing home close by. He was not posted on COVID duty per se officially but continued seeing patients in his private practice, many of whom were COVID positive, even when a lot of other doctors refused to see them, added Dr Rai.

Since Dr Jagadish Rai was stepping out of the house, was coming in contact with COVID-19 patients and had a high risk of getting the SARS-CoV-2, he would follow basic COVID-19 precautions at home. Dr Jagadish Rai lived with his wife and in order to protect her from COVID-19, he would diligently restrict his social contact and isolate within the family bubble. He would also practise social distancing, hand washing, sanitisation and wear a face mask.

Also Read: COVID Warrior Travels From Vishakhapatnam To Mumbai With Her Newborn To Contribute To The Fight Against COVID-19

70-year-old Obstetrician And A General Practitioner From Karnataka Succumbed To COVID-19 Infection In The Line Of Duty

COVID warrior Dr Jagadish Rai along with his wife. They have been married for 39 years

While Dr Jagadish Rai would make every effort to safely work, his family would frequently pressurise him to stop seeing patients given his age and leukemia but he would always. The family’s fear came true when Dr Jagadish Rai contracted Coronavirus from a 28-year-old patient who came to him coughing blood.

He provided the necessary care and tried his best to help the patient but unfortunately, the patient passed away a day after testing positive for COVID 19. A few days later, my father developed symptoms with fever, weakness, unrelenting cough, and shortness of breath. He was first admitted in a ward of a hospital and after three days, due to breathlessness, he was shifted to ICU, said Dr Rai.

Also Read: From A Care Giver To A Care Seeker: Story Of A COVID Warrior Who Is Back On Frontlines After Defeating Coronavirus

Dr Rai also shared that since the death of her father, countless people have come and told the family stories of how Dr Jagadish Rai helped them during a health crisis, saved lives, many times miraculously and how he was a god to them due to his relentless service especially when his patients were in dire need. Many of the patients appreciated Dr Jagadish Rai for having the lowest fee in the town.

My mother has since recounted the story of her asking him multiple times to increase his fees, if not to match what other doctors in the region were charging but to at least come close. Apparently, he always said, God had blessed him with a lot and he wanted people to give what they were comfortable giving and he did not want to grab from those less fortunate than him, recollected Dr Rai.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: Meet Stina P S, A 25-Year-Old Nurse In Delhi Who Treats COVID-19 Patients As Her Family

For Dr Rai, her father was like a god in her life and Dr Rai and her two siblings are immensely proud of their father and for the person he was. In the words of Dr Jagadish Rai’s children, he was,

Fearless, bold and a warrior in his approach to life and love. A man who lived life on his own terms and as well died by them.

While signing off, Dr Shipra Rai made a special request for people to be mindful and considerate of the many sacrifices healthcare workers are making to keep the nation safe. Dr Rai urged the people to practice social distancing protocols until an effective vaccine and/or treatment is in place. She said,

COVID-19 has certainly been a protracted and difficult disease but people seem to have forgotten the severity and the complications that can occur. Most of all everyone seems to have forgotten that while they are being asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing in public places, doctors and healthcare providers have to work in stifling PPE (personal protective equipment) kits and difficult conditions 24×7. They have been forced to stay away from their loved ones with a constant fear that they will take the virus home with them.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: “Personal Protection Gear Is My Second Skin Now,” Says A Doctor Six Months Into Fighting The Coronavirus Pandemic

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,06,78,961 and 48,98,653 have died; 20,23,40,977 are active cases and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 4:17 am.


3,40,81,315 13,596Cases
3,34,39,331 19,582Recovered
4,52,290 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,81,315 confirmed cases including 4,52,290 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,89,694 and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

65,91,697 1,715

32,230 994

64,19,678 2,680

1,39,789 29


48,54,321 7,555

88,186 3,292

47,39,270 10,773

26,865 74


29,83,459 326

9,479 58

29,36,039 380

37,941 4

Tamil Nadu

26,87,092 1,218

14,814 208

26,36,379 1,411

35,899 15

Andhra Pradesh

20,60,472 432

6,034 159

20,40,131 586

14,307 5

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,028 9

119 10

16,87,011 19


West Bengal

15,80,530 624

7,421 24

15,54,132 634

18,977 14


14,39,390 32

320 6

14,13,981 38



10,35,077 443

4,542 68

10,22,250 508

8,285 3


10,05,654 16

183 2

9,91,901 14



9,54,390 2

42 2

9,45,394 4



8,26,290 10

207 6

8,15,997 16


Madhya Pradesh

7,92,684 5

84 12

7,82,077 17



7,71,076 15

123 9

7,60,904 6



7,26,026 5

48 4

7,16,317 1



6,68,955 122

3,924 55

6,61,093 176

3,938 1


6,06,468 205

3,436 46

5,97,082 245

5,950 6


6,02,035 27

227 8

5,85,264 16

16,544 3


3,48,430 7

122 1

3,43,173 8



3,43,756 9

178 1

3,36,181 8


Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,062 95

843 12

3,25,793 107


Himachal Pradesh

2,21,437 131

1,303 5

2,16,414 125

3,720 1


1,77,522 60

604 6

1,73,572 62

3,346 4


1,27,396 52

585 13

1,24,961 64

1,850 1


1,22,737 104

1,422 0

1,19,418 102

1,897 2


1,12,848 249

11,633 1,143

1,00,829 1,389

386 3


84,321 16

104 4

83,401 12



82,953 55

845 32

80,673 86

1,435 1


65,302 3

25 3

64,457 6


Arunachal Pradesh

54,987 7

140 30

54,567 37



31,749 4

174 8

31,184 12



31,611 40

248 12

30,689 28



20,878 2

36 10

20,634 12


Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676 1

4 1





0 0



Andaman And Nicobar Islands


9 0



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1 Comment

1 Comment


    November 7, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    thank you for bringing attention to the plight of family members of healthcare providers who have lost loved ones in our battle against COVID 19.

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