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Sudanese doctor becomes first working NHS surgeon to die from coronavirus

Adil El Tayar, 63, was volunteering in A&E for the coronvirus effort [Twitter]

Date of publication: 29 March, 2020

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'Dedicated surgeon' Adil El Tayar, 63, had been volunteering in an A&E department in the Midlands when he contracted Covid-19.
A Sudanese doctor volunteering on the coronavirus frontlines in a British hospital has become the first working NHS surgeon to die from the virus, the Guardian on Saturday.

Adil El Tayar, a transplant specialist, died on Wednesday at West Middlesex university hospital in London, according to the newspaper.

The 63-year-old had been volunteering in an A&E department in the Midlands when he contracted the disease.

His cousin, British-Sudanese journalist Zeinab Badawi, gave a tribute to him on BBC radio, saying that: “He wanted to be deployed where he would be most useful in the crisis.” 

“It had taken just 12 days for Adil to go from a seemingly fit and capable doctor working in a busy hospital to lying in a hospital morgue.”

Tayar had developed symptoms around two weeks ago, and went into self-isolation. However as his condition worsened, he was moved to hospital and placed on a ventilator.


Tributes to Tayar poured in across social media, with former colleague Abbas Ghaznafar describing Tayar as "a very hard working and dedicated transplant surgeon," who "gave the gift of life to so many people around the world by his excellent transplanting skills."

Meanwhile British ambassador to Sudan Irfan Siddiq tweeted that he was "saddened" to hear Tayar's death.

"Health workers around the world have shown extraordinary courage. We cannot thank them enough. In this fight we must listen to their advice," he posted.

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Tayar trained as a medic at the University of Khartoum before moving to the UK in 1996. After a brief spell in Saudi Arabia, the surgeon moved back to Sudan to establish a transplant programme and work as a doctor in Khartoum.

The transplant specialist moved back to the UK in 2015 where he worked at St George's hospital in London.

Tayar is survived by his wife and four children, two of whom also work as doctors in the NHS.

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