MUMBAI: A senior homeopath from Gamdevi succumbed to Covid-19 on Sunday, making him the sixth alternative medicine practitioner from the city to die of the infection. Dr Shashank Mulgaokar (56), who was a member of the managing committee of Motiben Dalvi Hospital in Gamdevi, was treating patients in his clinic till he fell ill about three weeks ago.
The news of his death came as a rude shock to his family, who was hoping to celebrate his 57th birthday on June 3, as he was showing signs of recovery. The doctor was admitted to Bombay Hospital on May 18, almost a week after he had developed symptoms of fever and breathlessness. He was put on ventilator on May 24. “He had shown signs of improvement at least on two occasions…We thought we will be able to celebrate his birthday, but he suddenly collapsed and passed away,” said his son Parth, who is training to be a surgeon at Nair Hospital. “His heart and lungs were most affected because of Covid-19.”
Dr Mulgaokar has practised in the area since the age of 28 and was also the family physician to the Kapoors, the first family of Indian cinema. “His death is a huge loss and has caused an emotional turmoil to all of his practising colleagues,” said Dr K R Dhebri, a senior physician who runs a clinic in Bhuleshwar.
Dr Gautam Bhansali of Bombay Hospital said Dr Mulgaokar had underlying conditions such as hypertension and high blood pressure. “He remained critical for nearly a week and was on ventilator,” he added. “Those with comorbid conditions have a poor prognosis.” State statistics suggest that 65-70% of the deceased have had comorbid conditions due to which they suffer from a more acute form of the disease.
The first doctor to succumb to coronavirus in the city was a 84-year-old surgeon and urologist who consulted with Saifee Hospital. In the last one month, at least one more homeopath and four unani doctors have died of the infection. In almost all cases, the doctors had kept their clinics open and continued to check patients. Initially many of them worked without personal protective equipment, but now the supply has been streamlined to some extent, a doctor said. The deaths have prompted the associations, particularly of unani doctors, to demand a life insurance cover, which is available for MBBS doctors working with Covid-19 patients.



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