Students and colleagues bid adieu to professor and dean of School of Nanosciences, Dr Indrani Banerjee at the Central University Gujarat, Gandhinagar, as her last rites were performed in a crematorium on Sunday evening.
The professor who was struggling to breathe over the last two days could not get an ambulance that could take her to a hospital with a BiPAP oxygen concentrator facility.
However, her students took her in their personal vehicle to a Chandkheda-based Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) designated COVID-19 hospital on Saturday noon.
But she was refused admission in the hospital for not being brought in an EMRI 108 ambulance as mandated by the AMC.
Following this, the students, including a faculty member, travelled back with Banerjee to the same Gandhinagar-based private hospital where she was being treated.
A colleague who was aware of the issue claimed that her oxygen saturation levels hovered between 90 and 92.
When her close colleagues and a few students at the university rushed her to the civil hospital in Gandhinagar, it was already packed.
Overwhelmed by the situation they witnessed at the hospital, Banerjee requested her colleagues to shift her to another private hospital situated on Pethapur-Mahudi road on Saturday.
But that hospital as well claimed it was short of a BiPAP oxygen concentrator and informed that she would require one soon.
Till evening, all hospitals were running full, and Banerjee's oxygen saturation levels dropped to 60 per cent.
"By 2 am, the Gandhinagar hospital tried all their means and arranged a BiPap and a ventilator for the professor. But it was too late by then, and she did not survive owing to rapid chest infection," a close associate of Banerjee told The Times Of India.
Banerjee was among the few leading experts in the field of Nanoscience. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre ( BARC ), a visiting academician at National Physical Laboratory (NPL), London and a post-doctoral research associate at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department as well.
Apart from these positions, she was also working as a visiting scientist at the University of California, US.