The family of a general practitioner who died while being treated for an alleged coronavirus said he had sacrificed his life for his work.
Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, died in intensive care at Southend Hospital, Essex, 24 hours after being ill on Tuesday.
Her daughter, Dr. Sarah Zaidi, also a general practitioner, said she had shown “classic symptoms” of the virus.
If the test results confirm that he had Covid-19, he would be the first doctor in the UK to die after contracting the virus.
Dr. Sarah Zaidi told the BBC: “For it to be the thing that takes it, it’s too much to bear. It reflects his sacrifice. He had a vocational attitude to service.
“It was treated as a final case. There is no clinical doubt that this is a coronavirus, the test result is academic. ”
She added, “We can’t cry normally. We cannot have a normal funeral.
“He left a gaping hole in our hearts, but a loss that can also be felt in the community to which he has devoted most of his life.
“We are praying for everyone’s safety right now. ”
Dr. Zaidi, a general practitioner at Leigh-on-Sea for over 45 years, was self-isolated and had not seen patients in person for about a week.
He was Managing Partner of Eastwood Group Practice with his wife, Dr. Talat Zaidi.
Their four children all work in the medical profession.
“GP well respected”
Dr. Zaidi’s son is a hematology consultant in London. Her daughters are a trainee surgeon, a dentist and a general practitioner.
Southend Council chief Ian Gilbert said, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Zaidi. Dr. Zaidi and his family are well known and well loved in the community. ”
Patients and staff paid tribute to a “respected and loved general practitioner” on social media.
On Facebook, a patient said: “It would be difficult to find a more kind and caring gentleman, doctor and friend. ”
Two years ago, Dr. Zaidi won an excellence award from the NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group, who described him as a “legend” who was “highly revered by staff and patients”.
Dr. Zaidi’s widow was quarantined away from the rest of the family.
Confirmed coronavirus deaths are reported by the NHS England.