Coronavirus: The five NHS workers who died after battling COVID-19

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The five NHS staff members ho have lost their lives after contracting coronavirus. (GoFundMe/PA/Facebook/NHS Southend CCG/NHS)

A father-of-seven has become the fifth NHS worker to die while battling coronavirus.

Thomas Harvey, 57, is said to have died self-isolating alone at home after picking up the deadly illness during the course of his work.

His death highlights the dangers that NHS workers on the frontline are in while dealing with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The government has faced criticism for not reacting early enough to the threat of coronavirus. with medics at Southend Hospital in Essex warning they may need to limit services to a "bare minimum" amid concerns over a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.

Here are the NHS heroes who have died so far in the battle against coronavirus:

Thomas Harvey worked for 20 years at Goodmayes Hospital in east London. (GoFundMe)

Thomas Harvey, 57, nurse

Mr Harvey worked for 20 years at Goodmayes Hospital in east London but was forced to self-isolate after contracting coronavirus.

A friend told The Sun that he had picked it up after treating a COVID-19 patient on his ward, dying two weeks later.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how COVID-19 is spreading

North East London NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Professor Oliver Shanley described Harvey as a “longstanding dedicated member of our intermediate care team”.

His friend and colleague, Margaret Barron, added: “He was a cherished colleague, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a best friend.”

Alfa Saadu was a retired doctor who had continued to work part-time. (Facebook)

Alfa Saadu, 68, retired doctor

Retired NHS doctor Alfa Saadu had continued to work part-time at a hospital before dying from coronavirus.

The 68-year-old worked for the health service for several decades, and was working part-time at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, before he died on Wednesday morning.

His son, Dani Saadu, told the Huffington Post: "He was a very passionate man, who cared about saving people.”

The NHS trust Dr Saadu worked for before his retirement also paid tribute to him.

Lance McCarthy, chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: "Alfa was well-known at the trust for his passion for ensuring our patients received high quality care.

"He was a committed member of the team and is remembered fondly by many."

Habib Zaidi died 24 hours after being taken ill. (NHS Southend CCG)

Habib Zaidi, 76, doctor

Dr Habib Zaidi died at Southend Hospital in Essex on 25 March – 24 hours after being taken ill.

Dr Zaidi, who worked as a GP at Eastwood Group Practice in Leigh-on-Sea, had reportedly been self-isolating and not seen patients in person for about a week.

He came to the UK from Pakistan in the early 1970s.

His daughter, Dr Sarah Zaidi, also a GP, said he showed "textbook symptoms" of the virus.

She told the BBC: "For that to be the thing that took him is too much to bear. It is reflective of his sacrifice."

Amged El-Hawrani worked as an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon. (PA)

Amged El-Hawrani, 55, ENT consultant

Amged El-Hawrani died at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on 28 March, after contracting COVID-19.

Mr El-Hawrani worked as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon at the Queen's Hospital Burton – playing a leading role in merging the Burton and Derby hospitals.

The consultant, who took part in a trek across the Himalayas several years ago to raise money for the trust, was being treated in intensive care and had reportedly not been in contact with patients in recent weeks.

A statement made on behalf of Mr El-Hawrani's family said: "He viewed his role as a doctor as one of life's most noble pursuits.

“He was also a leader, who educated many doctors who have subsequently become ENT consultants.

"We are incredibly proud of the legacy he has left behind and all that he has achieved.”

Transplant surgeon Adil El Tayar had been volunteering for the NHS frontline fight against coronavirus before dying from the illness. (NHS)

Adil El Tayar, 63, transplant surgeon

Organ transplant consultant Dr Adil El Tayar had been volunteering for the NHS frontline fight against coronavirus before dying from the illness.

The working surgeon, died on 25 March at West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, west London.

His cousin, journalist Zeinab Badawi, paid tribute to the 63-year-old.

She said Dr El Tayar had volunteered to help in the A&E and general department of a hospital in the Midlands.

The father of four children, two of whom are doctors in the NHS, would work up in the Midlands during the week, returning to London on the weekends.

Two weeks ago he became unwell and did not return to work, eventually having to be taken to hospital where he died.

According to the BBC, Dr El Tayar had worked in Saudi Arabia and Sudan as well as at St Mary's and St George's hospitals in London.

He graduated from the University of Khartoum in 1982 and moved to the UK in 1996, where he studied at the University of West London.

Coronavirus: what happened today

Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter