LONDON: A 61-year-old Indian-origin immigration officer at Heathrow airport and his 33-year-old pharmacist daughter have died from the coronavirus (COVID-19) within 24 hours of each other in the UK.
Sudhir Sharma, 61, passed away on Wednesday and his daughter Pooja, 33, died the following day.
Officials do not believe Sudhir contracted Covid-19 on duty at the airport, rather elsewhere as he last worked on January 7.
Nick Jariwalla, director of Border Force at Heathrow, said, ‘Sudhir was a very well-respected, kind and experienced officer. He will be greatly missed by everyone.’
A friend of Pooja posted: ‘Really sorry to hear that one of our fellow pharmacists and a friend of mine since university, Pooja, and her father have passed away. May their souls rest in peace. Sending my heartiest condolences, prayers and love to their family.’
An NHS pharmacist, Heena Lakhani, said: “Please take this seriously, guys, and stay at home. There is nothing that cannot wait for a few months. Do this for your family if not for yourself.”
It’s unclear if Sharma and his daughter were around each other before they were infected.
New health ministry figures on Saturday showed Britain’s death toll jumped from 759 to 1,019 in 24 hours.
In a letter to every UK household, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the coronavirus outbreak will get worse before it gets better.
There are now 17,089 confirmed cases in the UK.