Coronavirus: Consultant Amged El-Hawrani dies after testing positive for COVID-19

Tom Gillespie, news reporter
·3-min read

A frontline NHS consultant has died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Amged El-Hawrani was an ear, nose and throat specialist at Queen's Hospital Burton.

The 55-year-old died on Saturday night at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. It was understood he had not been in contact with patients in recent weeks.

Dr El-Hawrani is the first frontline hospital worker in the UK to die after contracting COVID-19.

His 18-year-old son Ashraf said: "Most of my dad's time was dedicated towards his family, and the rest of that time was dedicated towards his profession.

"He taught me the significance of respect and equality. He also stressed the importance of not worrying about the things I cannot control, which he displayed to me right up until the end of his life.

"He did not seek the praise and approval of others, he was satisfied by viewing the positive effects of his actions and the wellbeing of his family. I am incredibly proud to say that for 18 years of my life, Amged El-Hawrani was my father."

A family spokesperson added: "Amged was a loving and much-loved husband, son, father, brother, and friend.

"His greatest passions were his family and his profession, and he dedicated his life to both.

"He was the rock of our family, incredibly strong, compassionate, caring and giving."

Gavin Boyle, chief executive at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB), said: "I want to pay tribute to Mr Amged El-Hawrani, who has sadly passed away."

He added: "(Mr El-Hawrani) was known for his dedication and commitment to his patients. He had also raised funds for the hospitals, including climbing in the Himalayas with a group of friends some years ago. The whole UHDB family are desperately saddened at losing Amged who was such a valued and much-loved colleague.

"On behalf of everyone here at UHDB, including our patients and the communities we serve, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family."

England's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said: "It clearly is a worrying event, it is worrying for the nation because it is another death in our statistics, it is another loss to a family.

"And it will be a loss to an NHS family as well."

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Dr El-Hawrani's death came before another 207 people were confirmed to have died after testing positive for the virus in the UK, bringing the total to 1,235.

Meanwhile, the British Medical Association has written to its counterparts in Italy after it emerged that more than 50 doctors have now died after contracting the virus there.

The BMA has warned that these fatalities "must serve as an urgent warning to the British government over the supply of personal protective equipment to doctors and healthcare workers in the UK".

In the letter, Dr Chaand Nagpaul wrote: "British doctors have looked to Italy with trepidation as the spread here continues, as we are naturally concerned that we may face a challenge of the same scale within weeks.

"The bravery and compassion shown by our Italian colleagues in the most harrowing circumstances is an inspiration to us.

"We have particularly noted with frustration your calls for proper personal protective equipment go unheeded.

"The death of one doctor is a tragedy, but to lose more than 50 is a catastrophe."

According to the BMA, doctors in British hospitals and GP practices are continually warning that they do not have anywhere near enough personal protective equipment, items are being rationed, or the standard of equipment is substandard.

"The BMA has been unequivocal in its warnings about PPE: without a proper supply and adequate protection, doctors will become infected and ill, and some will die," the letter adds.

During the daily Downing Street news conference, Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said teams are working "around the clock" to deliver equipment to frontline NHS staff - with 170 million masks, 42.8 million gloves and 2.3 million pairs of eye protectors delivered to 58,000 healthcare facilities so far.