Coronavirus: Brother pays tribute to 'hero' consultant

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Amged El-HawraniImage source, UHDB
Image caption,
Consultant Amged El-Hawrani was described as being "fit and healthy" before contracting the virus

The brother of one England's first senior medics to die after contracting coronavirus described him as "noble".

Consultant Amged El-Hawrani, who died at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on Saturday, was described as being "fit and healthy" before he became infected.

The 55-year-old's colleagues at Queen's Hospital in Burton held a minute's silence in his honour and staff across the profession have paid tribute.

His brother Amal El-Hawrani said all NHS staff should be regarded as heroes.

He said he "went out fighting like the noble, strong man he was".

Image caption,
Amal El-Hawrani said his brother died "peacefully"

Mr El-Hawrani said his brother "would have been heavily exposed" to the virus.

"He worked so hard both private and NHS at many hospitals. He saw hundreds and hundreds of patients. We don't know how many patients he was exposed to," he said.

"Is he a hero? Of course, just like every doctor and every nurse and anyone working at the NHS.

"My heart goes out to anyone who has also lost someone because of this virus."

He said the "international tragedy" did not discriminate.

"It doesn't worry about religion or creed, race or colour. It affects all of us," he added.

Image caption,
Dr Magnus Harrison said anxiety had increased "understandably" among staff at the hospital

Magnus Harrison, the medical director of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton trust, said the ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultant had been "fit and healthy" before he contracted the virus in early February.

He had even been on a charity trip to the Himalayas about four years ago.

"He was an incredibly hard working and dedicated consultant, loved by staff and by patients. We have lost one of our own," he said.

Another doctor, GP Habib Zaidi, died in intensive care at Southend Hospital, Essex, on Wednesday while being treated for suspected coronavirus.

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