A Rutgers University infectious disease expert who went to India to care for his family has died, according to multiple reports.

India is in a full blown coronavirus with thousands of positive cases daily and 220,000 deaths partially the result of new, more transmissible variants. The country's hospitals were packed with coronavirus patients, relatives of the sick scrambled to find supplies of oxygen, and crematoriums were running near full capacity to handle the dead.

Rutgers confirmed that Dr. Rajenda Kapila had died on Tuesday but did not disclose additional details about his death.

His former wife, Dr. Bina Kapila, told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that Kapilia was 81 years old, had diabetes and heart complications and planned to spend just a week in New Delhi.

Rajenda Kapila's current wife, Dr. Deepti Saxena-Kapila, told the Hindustan Times that he tested positive for COVID-19 on April 8 in India despite being fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine before traveling. The website Snopes said it was not able to confirm the circumstances of Rajenda Kapila's death or confirm his vaccination status.

Rajenda Kapila was an attending physician and the epidemiologist at University Hospital in Newark. He is also the chair of the hospital's Infection Control Committee.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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