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Sunday, Oct 25, 2020

Doctor specialising in elderly treatment is 13th NHS medic to die from coronavirus

A doctor who specialised in treating the elderly has died after testing positive for coronavirus.
Anton Sebastianpillai, 75, who had a long association with Kingston Hospital, London, died on Saturday after spending four days in intensive care. He is believed to be the 13th NHS medic to die after contracting Covid-19.

The consultant geriatrician, who qualified as a doctor at the Peradeniya Medical School in Sri Lanka in 1967, worked his last shift on March 20.

A spokeswoman for Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘It is with great sadness that I confirm the death of a consultant geriatrician who was part of the team at Kingston Hospital.

‘Dr Anton Sebastianpillai died on Saturday having been cared for in the hospital’s intensive care unit since March 31. We would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family.’

In an obituary notice from the Peradeniya Medical School, Dr Sebastianpillai was referred to as a ‘distinguished alumnus’, who had authored an illustrated history of Sri Lanka.

Acting Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, who previously met the consultant, tweeted that his death was ‘very sad news’.

The news of his death comes one day after heart surgeon Jitendra Rathod died on Monday morning in Cardiff, after testing positive for coronavirus.

The ‘incredibly dedicated’ surgeon and father-of-two was an associate specialist in cardio-thoracic surgery at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. He died in the hospital’s general intensive care unit.

On the same day, British Pakistani GP Dr Syed Haider died at Queen’s Hospital in Romford after displaying coronavirus symptoms.

A staff member at the Valence Medical Centre in Dagenham, east London – where Dr Haider worked – confirmed his death.

His son told the News International that his father had been a ‘selfless man driven by his passion for his profession’. He said: ‘Even whilst in hospital breathing his last, he was urging doctors and nurses to pay attention to other patients rather than him.

‘Many at his age would have retired yet his dedication to his profession was immeasurable.’

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