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March 28, 2020

British Pakistani becomes first UK doctor to lay his life against corona

Top Story

March 28, 2020

LONDON: Dr Habib Zaidi, a distinguished Pakistani British doctor has lost his life after spending 24 hours in intensive care at Southend Hospital.

According to Sarah Zaidi, Dr Zaidi's daughter, who is also a doctor, he had contracted the deadly coronavirus in his duties as a doctor. She said, "For that (coronavirus) to be the thing that took him is too much to bear. It is reflective of his sacrifice. He had a vocational attitude to service.

"He was treated as a definitive case. There is little clinical doubt it is coronavirus, the test result is academic."

Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, had been in self-isolation for a week and had not been seeing patients because he suspected he had contracted the viral coronavirus after symptoms of the virus became apparent. If the test results come positive Dr Zaidi will be the first doctor to die of the deadly COVID-19 in the UK. Owing to the ban on public gatherings in the UK, Dr Habib Zaidi could not be given a proper funeral by his family and friends who are devastated by his departure. His daughter Sarah said, "We can't mourn in the normal way. We can't have a normal funeral. He left a gaping hole in our hearts, but a loss that is also felt within the community that he devoted almost his entire life to. We are praying for the safety of everyone right now."

Dr Habib Zaidi is survived by his wife, Dr Talat Zaidi and four children who all pursued the medical profession like their father. Dr Habib Zaidi was also the recipient of an excellence award from the NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group and was known to be an extremely kind and caring individual by his community. One of his patients said on social media, "A kinder, more caring gentleman, doctor and friend you would be hard to find".

The Leader of the Southend Council, Ian Gilbert, said, "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Zaidi. Dr Zaidi and his family are well known and well-loved within the community."

As a precaution, Dr Zaidi's wife has gone into quarantine away from the rest of the family as a precautionary measure against the viral outbreak.

Dr Zaidi's family said, "That pretty much describes in a nutshell his nearly five decades of devoted service as a GP. Not only did he serve his patients, working tirelessly for them, but he never stopped driving to innovate, continually develop, and drive up quality. That very much continued to drive him until the very end. We are overwhelmed, touched, and comforted by the many kind tributes we have received."

Dr Zaidi's multiple patients have taken to social media to express their grief over the passing of their doctor. Iris had been seeing Dr Zaidi since he first came to the UK from Pakistan almost 50 years ago.

She broke down into tears as she said, "I can't believe that he's gone. He was so lovely, so kind to everybody.

"I remember the last time I saw him, which was two weeks ago, just before all this, and he said to me "Keep strong". And I always used to kiss the top of his head, and I said, "Please take care". That's the last time I remember him in the surgery.”

"I knew him for 50-odd years. I knew him when he came round here as a young man and took over. He'd just come over from Pakistan, he was only in about his 30s or 40s. It's so sad. His wife and children, they're such a wonderful family."

NHS (National Health Service) workers including doctors are at a much higher risk of contracting the virus since they deal with patients closely. Some news reports suggested that the NHS had distributed one mask to share between two medical workers. The lack of equipment for medical doctors in the UK came as a shock since billions of pounds were allocated to lost business earnings and wages but not to ensure appropriate gear for NHS workers.

Last night at 8:00pm, the British public all around the country joined together and clapped for the NHS in a show of solidarity with the efforts of the NHS staff.

The deadly pandemic has killed a total of 578 in Britain since the first known cases in January, while 11,658 have tested positive with Covid-19 as of the filing of this report.