Tuesday 12 May 2020 8:46 PM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
STOCKTON-ON-TEES May 13: A Malayalee GP, Poornima Nair (56), who has been working at the Station View Medical Centre in Bishop Auckland passed away following fall ill with Covid-19.
“Poornima Nair died at North Tees Hospital this morning (12th May 2020) after a long battle with Covid-19. She felt no pain and my father was with her in her final moments. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers”, note from her son Varun, said on her Facebook page.
Dr Poornima leaves behind husband Slok Balapuri, who is a senior surgeon with the NHS and a son Varun who is working with a financial firm in London.
Dr Poornima is from Kannur in Kerala and Slok is from Delhi. Dr Poornima has a brother who is settled in the US.
Funeral will be held in the UK. More details are awaited.
Numerous people paid tributes to Dr Poornima Nair.
Dr Poornima, who had her schooling done at The Frank Anthony Public School in Delhi, studied at the University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and worked at the famous Safdarjang Hospital prior coming to the UK.
According to BBC News, Poornima Nair, a GP at the Station View Medical Centre in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, had been on life support since 27 March having been taken ill two weeks earlier.
The 56-year-old was not thought to have had any underlying health issues. After showing symptoms of Covid-19, Dr Nair was admitted to the University Hospital of North Tees Hospital, in Stockton, on 20 March.
According to GP Online, a statement posted on the practice website said: ‘The practice is very sorry to announce to our patients the death of our much loved and valued colleague and friend Dr Poornima Nair.
‘Dr Nair passed away after a prolonged COVID-19 illness which she fought with her great strength of character. We are all devastated and upset by this tragic news and hope you will join with us in our thoughts and prayers.’
Practice manager Sarah Westgarth told BBC Look North that Dr Nair ‘lit up any room she walked into’, calling her ‘positive, encouraging and so caring to her patients’.
BMA GP committee member Dr Preeti Shukla said on Twitter that the loss of the Bishop Auckland GP was ‘devastating’ – calling her a ‘well respected colleague’ who had been ‘full of life’ and left behind a grieving family.
GP Online report adds that Dr Poornima Nair is the ninth GP from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background to die during the pandemic. Research published last week showed that people from BAME groups face a two to three times higher risk of death from the virus.
Practices have been urged to risk assess BAME doctors and the BMA has warned that older BAME doctors should not be working in high risk roles during the pandemic.
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