KZN cardiologist Leslie Ponnusamy died on February 10. Picture: Supplied
KZN cardiologist Leslie Ponnusamy died on February 10. Picture: Supplied

Top KZN cardiologist receives guard of honour after succumbing to Covid-19

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Feb 17, 2021

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DURBAN – A guard of honour was held by staff and medical personnel at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital after a well-known cardiologist, Dr Somalingum Ponnusamy died from Covid-19.

Ponnusamy, who was the chief cardiologist and also a former freedom fighter died last week on Friday, after spending two months in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU).

His funeral was held on Sunday in Durban North.

Speaking to Lotus FM on behalf of the medical fraternity at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor DP Naidoo said Ponnusamy's dedication to duty was unparalleled.

“The guard of honour was arranged by the hospital, and everyone turned out to pay their last respects. It was a devastating loss for us. He died of Covid-19 after two months here at the ICU. We all hoped that he would improve, and he did improve for a while, but then he took a turn for the worse.”

Dr Somalingum Ponnusamy. Image: Supplied

Naidoo said Ponnusamy will be remembered for his discipline in the department of cardiology. He told the staff at the hospital that while Ponnusamy will be missed, they should “soldier on”.

“The reason why I said they should soldier on is because Dr Ponnusamy was a member of Umkhonto weSizwe, and I often used to hear him say that his discipline was from his military training.”

“He managed his job in an exemplary fashion. We attribute the department running so smoothly to him. People admired him and his contribution, and that’s something that you don’t see very frequently,” said Naidoo.

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