India-origin doctor on Covid-19 frontline dies
An Indian-origin doctor working on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic at a UK hospital was found dead in the hotel he was staying in to isolate away from his family during the lockdown.
Dr Rajesh Gupta, a consultant anaesthetist at the NHS-run Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire, southeast England, was found dead earlier this week. The cause of his death is yet to be established.
“We are very sorry to pass on the sad news that our Frimley Health colleague Dr Rajesh Gupta has passed away,” Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement on Friday.
“Rajesh, who worked as a consultant at Wexham Park Hospital, was found on Monday afternoon in the hotel where he had been staying to protect his family while he worked with us during the coronavirus pandemic. At this stage the cause of his death is not known,” the NHS Trust said.
Gupta was described as a “popular and well-known figure” by the trust, which said that colleagues saw him as an “outstanding clinician with a passion for pain medicine”.
He had recently been appointed to an important post at Wexham Park Hospital after working for a period as a locum consultant at Frimley Park.
“They (colleagues) also say he was a gifted poet, painter, photographer and cook who was known for his enthusiasm, good nature and kindness. He wrote several books and contributed to a number of publications. He will be greatly missed,” the trust said.
Gupta, who studied in Jammu before moving to the UK, is survived by his wife and a young son.
The Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said that it is supporting his closest colleagues as the news of the sudden death has come as an “enormous shock” at his former workplace.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that groups of up to six people will be able to meet outdoors in England from next Mon- day, provided strict social distancing guidelines are followed.
The devolved administration of Scotland has begun easing its lockdown from Friday, which allows people from two households to meet outside so long as they keep at least two metres apart.
The changes come in over two months after the UK went into lockdown to control the spread of the deadly virus on March 23 and has resulted in a death toll of over 37,800. Downing Street said the changes are part of a “carefully-designed package” to ease the burden of lockdown in a way that is expected to keep the R rate – or rate of infection – down. “