P.R. Krishnakumar, Chancellor of Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore, and the managing director of the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited, died of COVID-19 in Coimbatore late on Wednesday. He was 69.A recipient of Padma Shri, who played a major role in the preparation of the Ayush protocol, Krishnakumar was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in a private hospital in Coimbatore for over a week. His death came around 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday.A spokesperson from AVP said that he had undergone below knee amputation for the right leg due to diabetic foot ulcer in another private hospital in Coimbatore recently.During the initial stages of the nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a video conference with Krishnakumar to discuss the prospects of Ayurveda in COVID-19 management.Born on September 23, 1951 to Arya Vaidyan P. V. Rama Varier, founder of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, and Pankajam Rama Varier, Krishnakumar studied Ayurveda from Shoranur Ayurveda College, Kerala.Krishnakumar initiated the first ever clinical research in traditional medicines under WHO and ICMR partnership in 1977 to study the efficacy of Ayurvedic treatment on Rheumatoid arthritis.He was also chairman of CARe Keralam (Confederation for Ayurvedic Renaissance).The Government of India had honoured him with ‘Dhanwanthari Puraskar’ for his contributions in the field of Ayurveda Education, Health and Community Services in 2016.
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