Former Indian President Mukherjee Dies After COVID-19 Diagnosis
India’s former President Pranab Mukherjee died Monday following weeks of hospitalization and a COVID-19 diagnosis. He was 84.Mukherjee was admitted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi on Aug. 10 to remove a blood clot in his brain after he suffered a fall. There, he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. He announced the diagnosis on Twitter and asked anyone who was in close contact with him to “please self-isolate and get tested.”On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID19 today.
I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for COVID-19. #CitizenMukherjee
— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) August 10, 2020Mukherjee’s brain surgery was reportedly successful, but his condition deteriorated Sunday when he developed a lung infection and went into septic shock. He remained in a coma and on ventilator support after surgery. Mukherjee died of multiple organ failure 21 days after his COVID-19 diagnosis. The former president’s son, Abhijit Mukherjee, confirmed the news in a tweet. “With a Heavy Heart, this is to inform you that my father Shri Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away inspite (sic) of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital,” he wrote.With a Heavy Heart , this is to inform you that my father Shri #PranabMukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital & prayers ,duas & prarthanas from people throughout India !
I thank all of You 🙏
— Abhijit Mukherjee (@ABHIJIT_LS) August 31, 2020Mukherjee was president from 2012 to 2017, the capstone to a 51-year political career. The office of the presidency is largely ceremonial in India. The prime minister is the chief executive. Mukherjee was previously finance, foreign and defense minister, and on the boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.He entered politics in 1969, when he managed an independent candidate’s successful bid for Parliament in a special election. Then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi recruited him to her party, the Indian National Congress.“His demise is (the) passing of an era,” tweeted current Indian President Ram Nath Kovind. “A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons.”Sad to hear that former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee is no more. His demise is passing of an era. A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends & all citizens.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 31, 2020Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the rival Bharatiya Janata Party wrote that Mukherjee “has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation.” He tweeted an image of himself bowing to touch Mukherjee’s feet in a gesture of respect.