Colleagues pay tribute to NHS staff who have died during Covid-19 crisis

Tributes have flooded in for NHS staff known to have died after contracting Covid-19.

On Sunday, the first serving NHS midwife in England to die after testing positive for the virus was confirmed when Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, announced the death of Lynsay Coventry, 54.

Three nurses – two who were young mothers – five doctors and two healthcare assistants have also contracted coronavirus and died since the start of the outbreak.

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Clap for Carers: Round two
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Clap for Carers: Round two
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to thank National Health Service staff (NHS) as they care for patients of Covid - 19 in London, UK on April 2, 2020. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
George Orchin (12), a piper in the Campbell College Pipe Band, plays Amazing Grace outside his neighbour's Jill Scott her husband Gordon and daughter Rececca's house in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, during a second Thursday night of 'Clap for our Carers' as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the coronavirus.
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to thank National Health Service staff (NHS) as they care for patients of Covid - 19 in London, UK on April 2, 2020. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Windsor Castle is turned blue to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic when landmarks across the UK will be lit blue.
George Orchin (12), a piper in the Campbell College Pipe Band, plays Scotland the Brave outside his neighbour's house in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, during a second Thursday night of 'Clap for our Carers' as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the coronavirus.
George Orchin (12), a piper in the Campbell College Pipe Band, plays Amazing Grace outside his neighbour's Jill Scott's house in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, during a second Thursday night of 'Clap for our Carers' as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the coronavirus.
Tesco staff clap outside the supermarket in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020.
A Tesco supermarket cashier wearing protective face mask and gloves claps while working at the supermarket in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus on April 2, 2020. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020.
People clap from their homes in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus on April 2, 2020.
A shopper claps outside a Tesco supermarket in north London during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020.
People in Southam in Warwickshire clapping to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic when landmarks across the UK will be lit blue.
Police officers join staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 2, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Finlay MacDonald plays the pipes at his home in Glasgow alongside sons Elliott, ten, and Fionn, eight to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
NHS workers outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
NHS workers outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
NHS workers in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
PORTSMOUTH, - APRIL 02: A general view over Portsmouth Harbor as the Spinnaker Tower is illuminated blue in support of the NHS and Key Workers on April 02, 2020 in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Neighbours stand on their doorsteps as they join in with the applause on April 02, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) workers and frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, in London on April 2, 2020. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain would "massively increase testing" for the COVID-19 virus as the country recorded more than 500 daily deaths for a second consecutive day. The health ministry announced a record 569 deaths from the virus in Britain in the 24 hours up to 1600 GMT on Wednesday -- the largest single-day rise yet. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
DORCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: NHS staff from Dorset County Hospital applaud at the entrance of the Emergency Department on April 02, 2020 in Dorchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the UK to take part in a nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
DORCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: NHS staff from Dorset County Hospital applaud at the entrance of the Emergency Department on April 02, 2020 in Dorchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the UK to take part in a nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 2: Residents of the Tulse Hill Estate applaud NHS staff and carers on April 2, 2020 in London, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON - APRIL 02: Residents in Abington Vale applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their home on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 2: Residents of the Tulse Hill Estate applaud NHS staff and carers on April 2, 2020 in London, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
DORCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: NHS staff from Dorset County Hospital applaud at the entrance of the Emergency Department on April 02, 2020 in Dorchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the UK to take part in a nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Residents on a Northampton street applaud and hit a tom tom for the NHS staff and other key workers on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Residents on a Northampton street applaud the NHS staff and other key workers on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
King's College at Cambridge University is bathed in blue light to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Residents on a Northampton street applaud the NHS staff and other key workers on April 02, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 02: Lois Copley-Jones, aged 5, daughter of the photographer claps on her doorstep as part of 'Clap for Carers’ in support of the NHS on April 02, 2020 in Newcastle Under Lyme, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: A general view of The London Stadium, home to West Ham United as it lights up to thanks the NHS on April 02, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 40,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
HOVE, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Members of the public show their support for the National Health Service as they applaud outside their home on April 02, 2020 in Hove, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - APRIL 02: A family claps for the National Health Service (NHS) outside their houses on Gwendoline Street in Splott on April 2, 2020, in Cardiff, Wales. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - APRIL 02: A man claps for the National Health Service (NHS) while holding a baby on Gwendoline Street in Splott on April 2, 2020, in Cardiff, Wales. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
HOVE, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Members of the public show their support for the National Health Service as they applaud outside their home on April 02, 2020 in Hove, United Kingdom. Members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes for a second week, after the success of last week's "Clap for Our Carers" campaign. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 50,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Members of the public take part in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) workers and frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, in London on April 2, 2020. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain would "massively increase testing" for the COVID-19 virus as the country recorded more than 500 daily deaths for a second consecutive day. The health ministry announced a record 569 deaths from the virus in Britain in the 24 hours up to 1600 GMT on Wednesday -- the largest single-day rise yet. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
A second 'Clap for Carers' event has taken place across the UK, as people show their appreciation for healthcare workers with a round of applause at 8pm. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus and developing mild symptoms, joined in from Downing Street.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes part in the Clap for Carers initiative on the steps of Downing Street to show his appreciation for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes part in the Clap for Carers initiative on the steps of Downing Street to show his appreciation for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
In this handout photo provided by 10 Downing Street, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson claps outside 11 Downing Street to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic, in London, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Pippa Fowles/The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.(Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)
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Lance McCarthy, chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT), said Ms Coventry, a grandmother, would be remembered for her "professionalism and commitment".

He said: "Lynsay has been a midwife at PAHT for 10 years and her loss will be felt by the maternity team and colleagues from across the organisation.

"Lynsay had tested positive for Covid-19 and died on Thursday. She followed national guidance and self-isolated at home when she developed symptoms, and was not at work in the time before her death."

In a statement, her family said: "Lynsay followed her dream and trained as a midwife later in life.

"It was a role she committed herself to and saw the midwifery team at the Princess Alexandra Hospital as her other family.

"She was a very well-respected midwife who supported many hundreds of women as they welcomed their babies into the world."

Aintree University Hospital said staff nurse Liz Glanister died on Friday after testing positive for the virus.

Chief nurse Dianne Brown said: ""It is with great sadness that I can confirm that Liz Glanister, a long-serving staff nurse at Aintree University Hospital, sadly passed away at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital on Friday after being tested positive for Covid-19.

"All our thoughts are with Liz's family at this time and we offer them our sincere condolences. Liz will be sadly missed by all those who knew and worked with her."

Nurse Areema Nasreen, 36, died just after midnight on April 2 in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands – the hospital where she had worked for 16 years.

Richard Beeken, chief executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, paid tribute to her, saying: "Any death is devastating but losing one of our own is beyond words."

He said Ms Nasreen had started at the hospital as a housekeeper in 2003 before gaining her nursing qualification in 2019.

"Her dedication to her role and her popularity amongst her colleagues is obvious to see with the outpouring of grief and concern we are seeing around the organisation and on social media," Mr Beeken said.

"Her vocation in nursing was clear for all to see and she always said that she was so blessed to have the role of a nurse, which she absolutely loved because she wanted to feel like 'she could make a difference' – and you did, Areema, you will be very sadly missed."

Aimee O'Rourke, 39, also died at the hospital she worked at – the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital (QEQMH) in Margate, Kent, on Thursday.

Julie Gammon, ward manager on the acute medical unit where Ms O'Rourke worked, said her team were devastated by the loss.

"She was such a kind and caring nurse, and she had a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues," she said.

"Nursing was something she had always wanted to do, although she came to it relatively late after raising her girls."

Ms Gammon added: "Aimee was a really valuable part of our work family and would always offer to help if she could.

"She was really growing and developing in her skills and confidence and I know she would have gone on to have a great career."

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday reported that John Alagos, a 27-year-old nurse who treated coronavirus patients at Watford General Hospital, died after a shift on Friday.

His mother, Gina Gustilo, said he fell ill during a 12-hour shift but did not leave work early.

She told the paper: "I asked 'Why didn't you come home?' He said he had asked other staff but they said they were short of staff and they did not let him go.

"I said, 'OK, take some paracetamol.' After a few minutes, I found him turning blue in his bed.'

Healthcare assistant Thomas Harvey, 57, a father of seven who worked at Goodmayes Hospital in Ilford, east London, died at home on March 29 after feeling unwell for several days.

Coronavirus
Healthcare assistant Thomas Harvey, who is among the nine NHS who have died after contracting Covid-19 (Family handout/PA)

Professor Oliver Shanley, chief executive of the North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT), said: "Thomas was a longstanding, dedicated member of our intermediate care team. This is a huge loss to both NELFT and the wider NHS."

Following his death, Mr Harvey's family criticised the NHS for the lack of personal protective equipment provided to staff, saying he had been given only a flimsy apron and gloves.

Another healthcare assistant, Glen Corbin, 59, worked at the Park Royal Centre for Mental Health in Harlesden, north-west London, for more than 25 years.

Claire Murdoch, head of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, described Mr Corbin as part of the "backbone" of the team.

"He was the 'go to' person who knew everything about the ward and how to get things done," she said.

She added: "Glen was a much-loved colleague and will be sorely missed.

"Our condolences to his family, friends and loved ones at this sad and difficult time."

Amged El-Hawrani, an ear, nose and throat consultant with University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB), died at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on March 28.

His colleagues held a minute's silence in remembrance of him on Friday, while one staged a 24-hour, 250-mile bike ride on an exercise bike in his back garden with his family to raise money in his name.

UHDB consultant Mark Johnston raised £19,000, which will be used to support the trust's staff during the pandemic.

Mr Johnston said: "We have lost a colleague who was well respected, and we feel deeply saddened for his family and friends. As medics we are taught to cope with bereavement, but rarely is it a colleague doing the job he loved to help others."

He added: "We've received some lovely comments from all those who have been donating, and we will be passing all of them over to Amged's wife."

Professor Sami Shousha, 79, was an honorary professor of histopathology at Imperial College London and had worked at UK cancer research laboratories at London's Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals since 1978.

He died on April 2.

One of his former pupils, Dr Neha Tabassum, of Imperial College London, tweeted: "My prayers and thoughts are with his family. It's so sad to hear this news, I am in tears!!

"Professor Sami Shousha was one of my mentor. Without his support, my PhD would not have been possible. He was such an amazing human being."

Professor Ian Ellis, of the Association of Breast Pathology, said in a tribute: "(Prof Shousha) was always happy and smiling, so enthusiastic and passionate about his work as well as loving to support and teach others.

"He will be missed by us all."

Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, a GP in Leigh-on-Sea for more than 47 years, died in intensive care at Southend Hospital, Essex, on March 25.

His colleague Dr Jose Garcia-Lobera, GP chair of the NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group, described Dr Zaidi as "a hugely respected, selfless man who dedicated his life to helping others".

Dr Garcia-Lobera added: "His loss is deeply felt by his staff, fellow clinicians and the wider community. Our thoughts are with his family, who we hope, in time, can take comfort from the incredible legacy he has left behind."

Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, who had returned to work from retirement, died on Monday while being treated for Covid-19 at the Whittington Hospital in north London.

His family said he had been working part-time at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, before contracting the virus.

Lance McCarthy, chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, where Dr Saadu worked before his retirement, said: "It is with sadness 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."

Adil El Tayar, 63, a renowned transplant surgeon, died at West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, west London, on March 25.

Mr El Tayar worked in the NHS for 11 years before moving to his home country of Sudan, where he established a transplant service before returning to the UK in 2015, working as a locum surgeon before his death.

His fellow transplant surgeon Abbas Ghazanfar wrote in a tribute that Mr El Tayar was "a very hard-working and dedicated surgeon who gave the precious gift of life to so many people around the world by his excellent transplanting skills".

The tribute continued: "He was an excellent colleague, a truly humble soul and above all a noble human being... His sudden departure has shocked his family and friends.

"He will be remembered by many of his colleagues and patients who knew him as the good person and doctor he was. He will be dearly missed by us all."

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said of the deceased at Saturday's Number 10 press briefing: "They died while doing everything they could to help the sick and the suffering.

"We can all best honour them in playing our part in fighting the disease by staying home and slowing the spread."

He added: "We offer our heartfelt condolences to their grieving families and to the many others mourning the loss of loved ones."

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