Egyptian doctor Medhat Atallah, who worked as a geriatrician with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary in northern England, died recently of coronavirus.
This brings the total number of deaths from the virus in the UK to 119, including 11 Arab doctors, according to Sky News Arabia.
Atallah moved to the UK from Egypt roughly 20 years ago. His colleagues described him as a “very special human being” and “a real NHS hero.”
“A hugely popular and respected colleague, Dr Atallah was a very special human being who practiced medicine across three continents throughout his career, affecting the lives of so many in such a positive way,” Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ Medical Director Tim Noble and Chief Executive Richard Parker said in a statement.
“He was a truly gentle gentleman and he will be hugely missed by us all,” they added.
The NHS also mourned Atallah, who joined the medical staff in 2014 and was working as a consultant in geriatrics in the Grisley unit, according to an NHS statement.
“We were fortunate to have worked with him for many years prior to this, since his arrival in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s, where he cared for many elderly patients in hospitals throughout the North of England,” the statement read.
“We would also like to take a moment to thank colleagues who cared for Medhat during his illness and who did all they could to care for and support him as he bravely battled COVID-19,” the statement added.
The NHS also expressed condolences to Atallah’s bother and sister in Egypt and called on the media to respect the family’s wishes during this difficult time.
Many expressed condolences to Atallah’s family on social media, and described him as a hero and great loss for geriatrics.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm