A doctor working in the National Health Service has paid the ultimate price for fighting on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the UK’s first healthcare worker to die from Covid-19.
Amged El-Hawrani was a 55-year ear, nose and throat specialist who worked at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton. He contracted Covid-19 and subsequently died on Saturday night. NHS England has said that he was the first front-line worker to die in the fight against the disease.
Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the health service, paid tribute to the consultant and expressed condolences to his family.
“The NHS is a family and we all feel deeply the loss of any of our colleagues, but as we all continue to unite and work together to tackle the spread of coronavirus, I know that the whole of the NHS and the public we serve will want to extend our sympathies to the El-Hawrani family,” he said.
“Nobody can be in any doubt about the scale of the challenge we face with this virus, and Amged’s death is not just an individual human tragedy but a stark reminder to the whole country that we all must take this crisis seriously,” he added.
Meanwhile, authorities warned that life won’t return to normal for quite some time. England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Harries, revealed that the current lockdown measures could be in place for at least six months. She told a news conference:
We must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living, that would be quite dangerous. If we stop then all of our efforts will be wasted and we could potentially see a second peak.
Elsewhere, Housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Sunday that all parts of Britain are on an emergency footing the likes of which have not been seen since World War Two. “This is an unprecedented step in peacetime. We haven’t done anything like this since the Second World War,” he said at a news conference.
Sunday also saw the UK’s death toll from Covid-19 climb to 1,228 as 209 more people fell victim to the disease over a 24-hour period. Nearly 20,000 people in the country have now tested positive for the infection.
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