Award-winning GP, 76, ‘is first British doctor to die of coronavirus’ as family says he sacrificed his life to care for others

  • Dr Habib Zaidi was taken ill on Tuesday and died in intensive care on Wednesday 
  • He was tested for COVID-19 at Southend Hospital but tests results not back yet
  • Daughter Dr Sarah Zaidi, also a GP, says he had ‘textbook symptoms’ of virus 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A family GP who died in hospital on Wednesday is believed to be the first British doctor to fall victim to coronavirus.

Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, became ill on Tuesday and died in intensive care at Southend Hospital in Essex on Wednesday. He had been self-isolating at home and had not seen patients in a week. 

His COVID-19 test results have not come back yet, but his daughter Dr Sarah Zaidi, who is also a GP, says he suffered all the ‘textbook symptoms’ of the virus and described his death as the ultimate ‘sacrifice’ for fighting the deadly infection.    

Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, (pictured) fell ill on Tuesday and died in intensive care at Southend Hospital in Essex on Wednesday

Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, (pictured) fell ill on Tuesday and died in intensive care at Southend Hospital in Essex on Wednesday

Dr Zaidi's wife Dr Talat Zaidi helps manage their Eastwood Group Practice in Leigh-on-Sea

Their daughter Dr Sarah Zaidi is also a family GP

Dr Zaidi’s entire immediate family work in the medical profession. His wife Dr Talat Zaidi (left) helps manage their Eastwood Group Practice in Leigh-on-Sea and one of their daughters Dr Sarah Zaidi (right) is also a family GP 

She told the BBC: ‘For that to be the thing that took him is too much to bear. It is reflective of his sacrifice. He had a vocational attitude to service.

‘He was treated as a definitive case. There is little clinical doubt it is coronavirus, the test result is academic.’

Dr Zaidi was a family doctor in Leigh-on-Sea for more than 45 years and a managing partner of Eastwood Group Practice with his wife, Dr Talat Zaidi, who has been forced into quarantine away from the rest of her family.  

He is survived by four children, who all work in the medical profession. 

The Zaidis’ son is a haematologist consultant in London and his daughters are a trainee surgeon, a dentist and a GP.   

Medics in other countries battling the virus have died, with scientists claiming it could have more deadly consequences the more people are exposed to it, putting frontline NHS staff at greater risk.

But if Dr Zaidi’s test results come back positive, he will become the first UK doctor to fall victim.    

Southend Council leader Ian Gilbert said he was ‘deeply saddened’ to hear of Dr Zaidi’s death and described him and his family as ‘well known and well loved within the community’.   

There have been 11,658 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with 578 deaths.

Pictured: Dr Zaidi was taken to intensive care at Southend Hospital in Essex and died there on Wednesday

Pictured: Dr Zaidi was taken to intensive care at Southend Hospital in Essex and died there on Wednesday 

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