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First female GP dies after contracting coronavirus

by Eleanor Philpotts
13 May 2020

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Dr Poornima Nair has become the first female GP to die with Covid-19.

Dr Nair, 56, of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, is the tenth GP to die with the virus.

Dr Nair, who worked at the Station View Medical Centre, died at University Hospital of North Tees, where she had been treated since 20 March.

Dr Nair, who had a special interest in women’s health, is survived by her husband, who is also a doctor, and a son.

Her practice said in a statement on its website: ‘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.’ 

Fellow GP Dr Preeti Shukla, of the BMA’s GP Committee, was among those to pay tribute.

Local MP Dehenna Davison issued a statement of condolence via Facebook, which was met with over 100 responses in memoriam.

The MP said: ‘I’m deeply saddened to hear of the heartbreaking loss of Dr Poornima Nair after contracting coronavirus.

‘Dr Nair was a well-known and extremely valued member of our community, serving as a doctor at Station View Medical Centre. She will be heavily missed by all that knew her, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her friends, family, and colleagues at this sad time.’

Dr Nair’s death marks the passing of another healthcare professional of BAME origin and comes as GP practices have been asked to consider removing BAME staff from the frontline.

She is the second GP to die with the virus in the past week, following the death of Clacton-on-Sea-based Dr Karamat Ullah Mirza on Sunday.