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Second British Pakistani doctor succumbs to deadly virus

LONDON: A second British Pakistani doctor has succumbed to the deadly coronavirus after having been hospitalised for some time.

Dr Syed Zeeshan Haider, a general practitioner at Dagenham's Valence Medical Centre, passed away at the Queen’s Hospital in Romford on Monday morning.

Previously, Dr Habib Zaidi, an elderly doctor from Southend, was the first doctor in all of UK to succumb to COVID-19.

After developing symptoms of the disease, Dr Haider was shifted to the hospital where he stayed for one week but was unable to recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus.

Dr Haider’s son, Dr Kumail, spoke to The News and confirmed the passing of his father. Dr Haider developed COVID-19 symptoms last week and began self-isolation as per government guidelines. Unfortunately, his condition worsened, and he was taken to Queen’s Hospital where he passed away this morning.

Dr Kumail said: “Many described him as a selfless man driven by his passion for his profession. Even whilst in hospital breathing his last, he was urging doctors and nurses to pay attention to other patients rather than him. Many at his age would have retired yet his dedication to his profession was immeasurable.”

The News has learnt that after qualifying from Peshawar's Khyber Medical College, Dr Zeeshan Haider moved to England during the 1960’s and worked in various hospitals in London, including the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, as a General Practioner for 50 years.

His family paid tribute to all the National Health Service (NHS) staff who treated Dr Zeeshan Haider. He is survived by a wife — who is a retired dentist — three children and three grandchildren.

“He leaves a legacy of sacrifice, compassion and generosity in the name of God,” said his son.

Dr Haider’s son-in-law, Syed Kaleem Haider, said that the deceased doctor was so passionate about humanity and his profession that even while in the hospital breathing his last, he was asking doctors and nurses to pay more attention to other patients and not to him.

"He was more concerned about others and from his bed, he advised doctors and nurses on what to do to treat [coronavirus] victims. He was a selfless man. He didn’t want to retire. He kept treating patients until the last moment of his life. He was very driven.”

A patient who had been treated by Dr Haider for over 10 years said, "He was my GP (General Practioner) since the last 10 years and was a very polite and caring person. I spoke to him 10 days ago on the phone for a prescription of my medicine. May he rest in peace."

Previously, Dr Amged El-Hawrani and Dr Adil El Tayar, two British-Sudanese doctors, laid down their lives fighting the virus. The staff of the National Health Service has been exposed to a greater risk of catching the coronavirus after concerns were raised that not every doctor had access to Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the viral disease, it was announced that frontline NHS staff would be tested and the UK would undertake over 100,000 tests daily but this commitment has not been fulfiled as of the filing of this report.