Tributes have been paid to two GPs, the latest doctors reported to have lost their lives to the Covid-19 virus.
The deaths came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that 144 NHS staff and 131 care workers have been reported as dying from virus-related illness, expressing his condolences to their families and paying tribute to their commitment.
In Bishop Auckland, County Durham, the Station View Medical Centre has lost GP Dr Poormina Nair. A statement from the practice described her as a “much loved and valued colleague.” It said: “Dr Nair passed away after a prolonged Covid-19 illness which she fought with her great strength of character. We are all devastated and upset by this tragic news and hope you will join with us in our thoughts and prayers.”
In Essex, working GP Dr Karamat Mirza, aged 84, died on Sunday. His wife, Estelle, a nurse aged 71, has recovered from the viral infection, it was reported. Dr Mirza was the senior partner at the Old Road Medical Centre, Clacton-on-Sea.
Mrs Mirza told The Times today how he had several brushes with death in his native Pakistan. During the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 he jumped into a river to escape a wild boar – and was then captured after emerging on Indian territory. He moved to the UK the following year. She said that at the outset of the pandemic, he stated: “I can’t sit at home and do gardening. I’m a doctor.” She said: “Medicine was in his blood.”
She added: “He was no ordinary man, he was an extraordinary, exceptional and astonishing man, who was absolutely fearless and daring and had enormous knowledge. He worked endlessly for the NHS and non-stop for this country, and he was known and loved by everyone in Clacton and he loved all his staff and patients and this town.”