Great Britain

Fourth frontline NHS medic dies from coronavirus after treating patients with deadly bug

A FOURTH frontline NHS medic has died from coronavirus after coming out of retirement to save lives during the pandemic.

Dr Alfa Saadu, who worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years in different hospitals across London, died on Tuesday after fighting the disease for two weeks.

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He is the fourth medic to have died after contracting the deadly virus.

The Nigerian-born doctor was 68.

His son, Dani, wrote on Facebook: "My Dad died of coronavirus at approximately 7.30am yesterday. He had been fighting the virus for 2 weeks but could not fight anymore.

"The NHS were amazing and did everything they could.

"My Dad was a living legend, saving people's lives here and in Africa.

"Up until he got sick, he was still working part-time, saving people.

"Coronavirus is not a joke, please take it seriously and listen to the government.

"Please stay safe and protect your loved ones, nothing is more important."

'MASSIVE FAMILY MAN'

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

"As soon you spoke to him about medicine his face would light up. He worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years in different hospitals across London.

"He loved to lecture people in the world of medicine – he did so in the UK and Africa. My dad retired and was working part time at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, until his passing.

"He was a massive family man and we did everything together. Family came first. He left two sons and a wife, who is a retired doctor herself in occupational health."

Dr Saadu's nephew Ahman Makams said: "He went as a consultant to help and it was in the process that he contracted the virus.

"His wife also has the virus but is currently receiving treatment."

Another nephew, Ahmadu Galadima, tweeted: "My uncle contracted the virus trying to save lives.

"This thing is not a joke. Please stay home and stay safe. May Allah have mercy on his soul."

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The physician stepped down as medical director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in 2016.

He previously worked as a consultant and acting clinical director of the care of the elderly department at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

He also worked as medical director and consultant physician at Ealing Hospital.

Lance McCarthy, chief executive, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, told the Sun Online: "It is with saddest that we learn of the passing of Dr Alfa Saadu.

"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.

"His family and friends are in our thoughts at this sad time."

DEATH TOLL RISES

Three other doctors have died after contracting Covid-19 - ear, nose and throat consultant Amged El-Hawrani, 55, Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant specialist and Southend GP Dr Habib Zaidi.

In Italy, the country worst hit by coronavirus, more than 60 doctors have died from the deadly bug.

It comes as a further 563 patients with coronavirus died in the UK, taking the total number of deaths in hospitals to 2,352.

Yesterday a 13-year-old boy became the first known child in the UK to die with Covid-19. A 19-year-old with no existing medical issues also died.

As the coronavirus crisis worsens in the UK, doctors and nurses have spoken out about the lack of personal protection equipment for hospital staff.

Some members are said to have bought scrubs on Amazon or had friends knit them protective kit.

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, from Doctors' Association UK, said: "At a time when the country is relying on frontline NHS staff, this is unforgivable."

One medic said: "You wouldn't send a soldier out without the necessary equipment so why are healthcare professionals not being provided the adequate PPE?"

NHS staff have also expressed frustration they are being forced to self-isolate just as they are most needed, because tests are not available to show whether they are clear of the disease.

Professor Andrew Goddard, the Royal College of Physicians, said one in four NHS doctors are off work because they are sick or in isolation.

The Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association all say testing of frontline staff is desperately needed.

Critics have also warned that mass community testing is the only safe way of lifting the lockdown without risking a fresh spike in cases.

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