Two more nurses have died with coronavirus as the NHS death toll rises to 21.
Gareth Roberts and Leilani Dayrit have been named among the latest frontline staff to die while helping with the fight against coronavirus.
It comes as Britain recorded another 917 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours with a further 5,324 confirmed cases.
Gareth Roberts, 63, (pictured) who came out of a retirement to help fight the coronavirus, has since been confirmed as the 20th NHS worker to die
Gareth Roberts, 63, who came out of a retirement to help during the outbreak, is thought to have been the 20th NHS worker to die.
The grandfather, who was described as a ‘much-loved and dedicated’ member of the health team, died at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
In a statement, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: ‘Gareth had been part of our nursing family since the 1980’s and worked across our hospital sites.
‘Gareth was well known by everyone and was an extremely popular, fun-filled and well liked person, always greeting everyone… when he saw them.’
Mr Roberts is survived by his wife, son and grandson.
The Royal College of Nursing Wales said it’s ‘devastating to lose one of our nursing professionals in this manner’.
A spokesperson said: ‘We are deeply saddened to hear the news that a nurse in Wales has died from COVID19.
‘I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to the nurse’s family, friends and colleagues.
‘Nurses have been working tirelessly around the clock to care for their patients during this crisis.
‘Their commitment and dedication has been unflinching. It is devastating to lose one of our nursing professionals in this manner.’
Clinical nurse Leilani Dayrit (pictured), who had worked as a nurse for the past 16 years, was known as a mother figure to the children of family friends and for her dedication and selflessness on the wards
Tributes have also been pouring in for a ‘special and beautiful’ nurse at the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby who has passed away from suspected Covid-19.
Clinical nurse Leilani Dayrit, who had worked as a nurse for the past 16 years, was known as a mother figure to the children of family friends and for her dedication and selflessness on the wards.
Her daughter, Mary Dayrit, has led tributes to the ‘unsung hero’ after he death on Tuesday amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a post on a GoFundMe page, she wrote: ‘My mother was a compassionate woman who always put other people’s happiness and wellbeing before her own.
‘She was a very hardworking and dedicated nurse who loved to look after others and because of this she was known as the ‘mother figure’ to numerous family friends.
‘She was a perfect example of an optimist who kept looking on the bright side of things and encouraged everyone to do the same.
‘My mum was selfless until the very end and made sure to spread joy, happiness and love to anyone that ever needed it. A truly special and beautiful person inside and out; I am truly blessed to have called her my mother and words cannot express how glad I am to see and hear that she was loved by a lot of people.
‘I am overwhelmed by the heartwarming responses and messages that have been sent and I am sure she would have equally been touched by all your kind words and support.’
The online fundraising page has been set up to ‘lessen the burden brought by this tragedy to her family’ and has a £3,000 target.
Earlier today, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust confirmed a member of staff had passed away but did not give out further details or state the cause of death.
Chief executive professor Andy Hardy said: ‘It is with great sadness that I can confirm that a member of staff at the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby, has sadly passed away.
‘All our thoughts are with their family, friends and colleagues and we offer them our sincerest condolences.
‘The trust is doing everything it can to support both the family and our staff during this very difficult and distressing time.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) told BBC Breakfast today that 19 ‘members of the NHS family’ had died from the virus which has claimed 9,875 UK lives
Hancock repeats claims of PPE over use
Matt Hancock speaking this morning
A row has erupted between the Government and nurses after Matt Hancock again cautioned coronavirus medics against overusing personal protective equipment.
The Health Secretary insisted there was enough protective clothing to meet demand, but urged health workers to treat the gear like a ‘precious’ resource.
He doubled down on comments made at yesterday’s Downing Street press briefing where he responded to reports from the frontline of a dire shortage of equipment.
Royal College of Nursing’s Dame Donna Kinnair said that no amount of PPE was ‘more precious a resource than a healthcare worker’s life, a nurse’s life, a doctor’s life’.
She told BBC Breakfast: ‘I take offence actually that we are saying that healthcare workers are abusing or overusing PPE. I think what we know is, we don’t have enough supply and not enough regular supply of PPE.
‘This is the number one priority nurses are bringing to my attention, that they do not have adequate supply of protective equipment.’
A third NHS worker, Julie Omar, also passed away having contracted the virus.
The 52-year-old was an experienced trauma and orthopaedics nurse who had most recently been working at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive Matthew Hopkin issued a statement which read: ‘It is with great sorrow that I have to share with you the sad news that a much-loved member of our nursing team – Julie Omar – has died.
‘Julie, who was just 52, had been self-isolating at home after developing symptoms of Covid-19, but sadly her condition deteriorated and she died at home yesterday morning.
‘She leaves a husband and a grown-up daughter.
‘We have been asked by her family not to share any more details at this stage and we will of course respect those wishes.’
The latest fatalities comes after two porters who were both married to nurses died in an Oxford hospital from coronavirus.
Oxford University Hospitals said in a statement: ‘It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the deaths of two members of staff, both of whom were porters at the John Radcliffe Hospital and both married to members of our nursing teams.
‘Both men were popular and hard-working members of our fantastic team of porters at the John Radcliffe Hospital. They will be sorely missed by their colleagues as well as family and friends in the wider community.
‘Our thoughts are with their wives and families as well as their close colleagues. The families have asked that their privacy be respected at this very sad time.
‘As colleagues we will be supporting both families as best we can through their loss and we know that they will also be supported by the wonderful Filippino Community here in Oxford in which both families play a significant part.
‘We are also offering support to all their colleagues and reminding all staff about the services and advice that are available to them.’
Areema Nasreen (pictured), 36, died just after midnight on April 2 in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands – where she had worked for 16 years
Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer, and Sir Jonathan Montgomery, Chair of the NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘This tragic loss of our two colleagues touches us all. We are a team and every single member of our team is precious.
‘None of us can deliver our service to patients alone. We all need each other and we stand together in honouring the memories of our colleagues and together we share in the sadness of their families.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously told BBC Breakfast that 19 ‘members of the NHS family’ had died from the virus which has claimed 9,875 UK lives.
Mr Hancock said he was particularly struck by the high proportion of people from minority ethnic backgrounds in the NHS who had died. He said ‘the work is going on to establish whether they caught coronavirus in the line of duty while at work or whether… caught it in the rest of their lives.’
The Health Secretary said of those from minority ethnic backgrounds who have died: ‘It is a testament to the fact that people who have come from all over the world have come and given their lives in service to the NHS and paid for that… I think we should recognise their enormous contribution.’
Aintree University Hospital said staff nurse Liz Glanister died on Friday April 3.
Nurse Areema Nasreen, 36, died on April 2 in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands – where she had worked for 16 years.
Nurse 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.
Tributes were also paid to nurse Rebecca Mack, 29, who died on Sunday after going into self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms.
Tributes were paid to nurse Rebecca Mack (pictured), 29, of Morpeth, who died on Sunday after going into self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms
Donald Suelto (pictured), who worked at Hammersmith Hospital, died after going into self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms, a friend and fellow NHS nurse said
Donald Suelto, who worked at Hammersmith Hospital, died after going into self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms, a friend and fellow NHS nurse said.
The Mail on Sunday reported that 27-year-old nurse John Alagos – who treated coronavirus patients at Watford General Hospital – died after a shift on Friday April 3.
Nurse Alice Kit Tak Ong, 70, passed away on Tuesday, her daughter said.
Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex on Sunday announced the death of 54-year-old midwife Lynsay Coventry while Janice Graham, a 58-year-old healthcare support worker in Scotland, died on Monday.
Healthcare assistant Thomas Harvey, 57, a father of seven who worked at Goodmayes Hospital in Ilford, east London, died at home on March 29.
Another healthcare assistant, Glen Corbin, 59, had worked at the Park Royal Centre for Mental Health in Harlesden, north-west London, for more than 25 years.
Healthcare assistant Thomas Harvey (pictured), 57, a father of seven who worked at Goodmayes Hospital in Ilford, east London, died at home on March 29
Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, a GP in Leigh-on-Sea, died at Southend Hospital on March 25.
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. Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, who had returned to work from retirement, died on Monday at the Whittington Hospital in north London.
Transplant surgeon Adil El Tayar, 63, died at West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, west London, on March 25.
Professor Sami Shousha, 79, who had worked at UK cancer research laboratories at London’s Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals since 1978, died on April 2.
Dr Edmond Adedeji (pictured), 62, who worked as a locum registrar in the emergency department of Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, died on April 8
Nurse Alice Kit Tak Ong (pictured), 70, passed away on Tuesday, her daughter said
Consultant geriatrician Anton Sebastianpillai, who had a long association with Kingston Hospital in south-west London, died on Saturday April 4.
Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, who wrote a Facebook post asking Boris Johnson to urgently provide every NHS worker with PPE, died on Wednesday night.
Dr Edmond Adedeji, 62, who worked as a locum registrar in the emergency department of Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, died on April 8.
Jitendra Rathod, an associate specialist in cardio-thoracic surgery at the University Hospital of Wales, died on Monday morning. GP Fayez Ayache, 76, was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital on April 2 and died six days later.
GP Dr Syed Haider, who worked in Dagenham east London, died in hospital on Monday after it is believed he developed coronavirus symptoms.
Patient discharge planner Barbara Moore, 54, died on Monday, the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said.
The GMB union’s national secretary for public services Rehana Azam said: ‘Now this dark truth has been dragged out, we also need to know the number of other frontline workers, including in our care homes, who have died in the call of duty.’
‘This is beyond heartbreaking. Each of these frontline workers’ sacrifice to our NHS family must never be forgotten.’
Today’s death tally is a drop from yesterday’s 980, which remains the highest recorded in a single day so far – surpassing Italy and Spain’s worst days.
But it does put Britain on course to hit the grim 10,000-death milestone on Easter Sunday, which the country will spend in lockdown.
The total cases also today jumped by 5,233 to 78,991 after an additional 18,091 tests were performed, down 1,025 from Friday.
NHS England reported 823 patients had died in their hospitals today – the youngest was 11 and the eldest was 102, both with underlying health problems.
Scotland today confirmed a further 47 deaths, bringing the nation’s total fatalities to 542, while Northern Ireland’s tally hit 107 after an additional 15 deaths.
It comes as police warn the public to stay indoors this Easter Bank Holiday weekend, but were forced to have words with some flouting social distancing rules.
The police have been warned not to abuse their new beefed-up powers by Priti Patel, who has confirmed today’s latest figures at the No10 press briefing.
On another grim day in Britain’s coronavirus pandemic:
- A row erupted between Health Secretary Matt Hancock and a top nurse over his claims that medics were overusing personal protective equipment;
- Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer led the backlash over the Health Secretary’s claim that NHS staff were ‘wasting’ PPE;
- Downing Street said the Prime Minister was making extremely good progress with his recovery from coronavirus;
- Former Home Secretary David Blunkett blasted ‘Sermon on the Mount’ coronavirus briefings by ministers and accusesd officials of ‘hectoring’ people;
- Scientists said coronavirus can spread 13ft – twice the social distancing gap – and that isolating infected people at home is not a good strategy.