An Indian-origin physician has succumbed to the novel coronavirus in New York, American Physicians of Indian-Origin (AAPI) said on Wednesday.
Sudheer S Chauhan had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was battling for his life for the past few weeks. He died of complications from the illness on May 19, AAPI's Media Coordinator Ajay Ghosh said in a statement.
Chauhan was an Internal Medicine Physician and Associate Program Director IM Residency Program at Jamaica Hospital in New York. His daughter Sneh Chauhan said in the AAPI release that his "unique, kind, gentle and caring spirit" will be missed.
Chauhan had received his graduate medical education from GSUM Medical College, University of Kanpur, India in 1972. He was chief resident in Internal Medicine at Jamaica Hospital and graduated in 1997. A Board Certified physician in Internal Medicine, he also received citations from Royal College of Physicians and FACP from American College of Physicians.
Earlier this month, an Indian-origin father-daughter duo -- both doctors in New Jersey -- passed away due to COVID19, with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy describing the demise of the "healthcare heroes" who dedicated their lives to helping others as "particularly tough".
"Satyender Dev Khanna (78) and Dr Priya Khanna (43), both dedicated their lives to helping others and we lost both of them to COVID-19," Murphy said during a press conference last week, saying their demise is a "particularly tough one".
"We have a proud moment, it is (also) a scary moment; it is a mixed feeling, but this virus is a deadly virus," AAPI President Dr Suresh Reddy said, describing the situation under which the physicians of Indian Origin serving people infected with the virus.
"They tend to work disproportionately in areas that are medically under-served like rural and inner city areas taking on a heavier workload with patients who are more ill. We are definitely in the frontline fighting this deadly battle against the coronavirus," Reddy said.
Dr Seema Arora, Chairwoman of AAPI's Board of Trustees, said that coronavirus has placed the entire healthcare sector, and in particular, the Indian American medical fraternity at the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic.
AAPI said that Indian-Americans constitute less than one per cent of the country's population, but they account for nine per cent of the American doctors and physicians. One out of every seven doctors serving in the US is of Indian heritage, providing medical care to over 40 million of US population.
There are about 80,000 practicing Indian American physicians who are at the forefront of fighting COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
In addition, there are around 40,000 medical students, residents, and fellows of Indian origin in this country who are supporting many of the hospitals affected by the pandemic, the organisation said.