UK mother of five dies from coronavirus in Pakistan

Amelia Hill

A mother of five, including quadruplets, has died after contracting coronavirus.

Shabnum Sadiq, 39, a Labour councillor, died after spending 24 days on a ventilator in Pakistan. She had travelled there for a wedding in early March. She contracted the disease five days after arriving in the country and died on Monday.

In June 2006 Sadiq, who already had a six-year-old daughter, Shireen, gave birth to quadruplets naturally. She had been given a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome and had feared that she would not be able to have more children.

“It’s a tragedy,” said Haqeeq Dar, a colleague on Slough borough council. “She only went on a short eight-day trip. But she never came back. I just can’t believe that she’s gone.”

A spokesman for the local authority said it was flying flags at half mast at council offices in tribute to Sadiq. James Swindlehurst, leader of the council, said: “This is very shocking for all of us and our thoughts are with her family and friends. We worked together closely and personally I will miss her very deeply.”

He added: “This is a significant loss for the council and the town but is nothing compared to the loss her family, close friends and community are feeling right now.”

Sadiq was elected to Wexham Lea ward in May 2016 and served on various council committees. She was a former lead member for education and children’s services.

Swindlehurst said: “This has brought home to us that not only is this virus something we have to deal with as a town but also personally; through our work, through our actions and through our grief for those it has taken.

“Behind every statistic about this virus is a family ripped apart and there is no starker example of that, to us in the council, than to lose one our colleagues.”

Madhuri Bedi, the councillor for Foxborough ward, said she was feeling “immense heartbreak” for “her, her children, her husband and loved ones”.

She said: “She was a young woman with huge determination, bringing up her daughter and her quadruplets with ease.”

Iftakhar Ahmed, chairman of Wexham Court parish council, said Sadiq “was known for her kind and caring personality”.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends, may God give them patience to endure this tragic loss of life,” he said.

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