UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus: Dr Anton Sebastianpillai dies at Kingston Hospital after testing positive

By April 27, 2020 No Comments

An NHS consultant has become the latest healthcare worker to die in the UK after contracting coronavirus.

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai was a long-serving member of the team at Kingston Hospital in southwest London.

His final shift as a consultant geriatrician came on 20 March, and after becoming ill with COVID-19 he was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit on 31 March.

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said it was “with great sadness” that it could confirm Dr Sebastianpillai had passed away on Saturday after four days in intensive care due to the coronavirus.

The trust’s spokesperson added: “Dr Sebastianpillai completed his last shift with us on 20 March and we would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family.”

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Dr Sebastianpillai, who was in his 70s, qualified as a doctor in Sri Lanka in 1967.

The country’s high commission in London has hailed him as a “distinguished alumnus” of Peradeniya University’s medical school, and tweeted to say it was sad to learn of his death.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) also paid tribute, describing him as a “valued member of the RCP family”.

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“It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Dr Anton Sebastianpillai who died on Saturday, another valued member of the RCP family,” the college tweeted.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this devastating time.”

The Liberal Democrats’ acting leader Sir Ed Davey, who is the MP for Kingston and Surbiton, said Dr Sebastianpillai’s death was “extremely sad news”.

He tweeted to say he was “hugely respected as a consultant and author” who he had been “privileged” to have met, adding that a book the doctor had written about the history of Sri Lanka was “world class”.

“My thoughts are with Dr Sebastianpillai’s wife and son,” he added.

Sir Ed also tweeted to say that Dr Sebastianpillai had returned to the frontline to help the NHS with the pandemic, however his hospital trust confirmed to Sky News that he was still working and did not come out of retirement.

British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul told Sky News on Wednesday morning that 10 doctors had now died in the UK after contracting the disease.

Among those to have died are Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, who was described as a “living legend” after answering the government’s call to return to the frontline to help combat the pandemic.

The first NHS doctor to die after testing positive for the illness was Dr Adil El Tayar, 64, whose family have since questioned whether he was given the personal protective equipment (PPE) he needed to work safely.

Several nurses have also died after contracting the coronavirus, including 36-year-old Areema Nasreen, who had no known underlying health conditions, and 39-year-old Aimee O’Rourke.


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