A consultant who warned Boris Johnson about the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE) to support NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis has died from the disease.
Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, made a direct plea to the prime minister in a Facebook post last month, when he asked Mr Johnson to “ensure urgently personal protective equipment (PPE) for each and every NHS worker”.
The father-of-two, who worked as a consultant urologist at Homerton Hospital in East London, said in his post: “People appreciate us and salute us for our rewarding job which are very inspirational but I would like to say we have to protect ourselves and our families /kids in this global disaster/crisis by using appropriate PPE and remedies.”
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The prime minister, who is currently being treated for Covid-19 at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, has repeatedly come under pressure to address the issue of PPE being made available to all frontline workers tackling the pandemic.
In late March, 3,963 doctors penned an open letter in The Sunday Times, saying that they were “putting their lives on the line every day” by working without adequate protection.
“Intensive care doctors and anaesthetists have told us they have been carrying out the highest-risk procedure, putting a patient on a ventilator, with masks that expired in 2015,” the letter said.
It came despite the communities secretary Robert Jenrick insisting at the time that good progress was being made on securing PPE for frontline staff.
Mr Chowdhury died on Wednesday after contracting coronavirus, and was praised by his friend and fellow doctor Golam Rahat Khan as a “life-loving person”.
“He liked singing and liked our own Bengali culture and loved English heritage,” Dr Khan said.
“He was so caring, he would call us very often to come to his house.
“I last saw him on February 1 at my house for my son’s eighth birthday.”
Additional reporting by agencies