NEW DELHI: Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh died on Friday due to post-Covid complications at the age of 91.
The 91-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 19 but was in home isolation at his Chandigarh residence after revealing that he was asymptomatic.
However, a few days later on May 24, Singh was admitted to the ICU of Mohali's Fortis hospital due to "COVID pneumonia". He was then moved to PGIMER in Chandigarh on June 3.
Notably, his death came five days after his wife Nirmal also died due to post-Covid complications.
"It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away at 11.30 pm. on the 18th of June 2021," his family announced in a statement.
"He fought hard but God has his ways and it was perhaps true love and companionship that both our mother Nirmal ji and now Dad have passed away in a matter of 5 days," the statement further added.
He "was treated for Covid there till 13th June when after putting up a valiant battle with Covid, Milkha Singh Ji tested negative," the hospital said in a statement.
"However, due to post-Covid complications, he was shifted out of Covid Hospital to medical ICU. But despite best of the efforts by the medical team, Milkha Singh ji could not be retrieved from his critical condition and after a brave fight, he left for his heavenly abode at 11.30 pm on 18th June 2021 here at PGIMER," the statement added.
"In the passing away of Shri Milkha Singh Ji, we have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation's imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians. His inspiring personality endeared him to millions. Anguished by his passing away," PM Modi tweeted.
"I had spoken to Shri Milkha Singh Ji just a few days ago. Little did I know that it would be our last conversation. Several budding athletes will derive strength from his life journey. My condolences to his family and many admirers all over the world," he added in another tweet.