Retired professor is Jamaica’s sixth COVID-19 fatality

CHIEF Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie last evening confirmed that retired chemist and The University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer Professor Tara Dasgupta, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has died.

Bisasor-McKenzie, while speaking at a virtual press conference held at Jamaica House in St Andrew, confirmed an OBSERVER ONLINE report yesterday, which said that the professor, who had underlying conditions, died suddenly.

Professor Dasgupta’s death brings the number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in the country to six.

“Yes, I can confirm the death of the university lecturer and it’s with a deep sense of my own sympathies, both to the family that I know personally and for the professor who taught me when I was in university, it is really with great sorrow that we see his passing. My condolences to the family, to the entire university fraternity who I know have suffered a great loss,” the CMO stated.

Professor Dasgupta joined the staff at The UWI in 1974 as a lecturer in physical chemistry. His reputation for considerable research output was of high quality, and, only six years after he joined the university, he was appointed the first professor of inorganic chemistry.

He communicated a sense of research purpose and reportedly had an uncanny ability to inspire young people to follow his lead. Professor Dasgupta has produced over 40 MPhil and PhD graduates — a number that kept increasing.

He has been recognised internationally for his outstanding work in reaction mechanisms.

In 1979 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK). He received numerous prestigious awards and in 2013, he received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) from the Government of Jamaica.

— Kimone Francis

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