Poornima Nair, who gained medical qualifications from the University of Delhi in 1987 and practised as a general practitioner after moving to the UK in 1997, has passed away after contracting coronavirus, her practice in County Durham said on Wednesday.
The Station View Medical Centre in north-east England, where she was based, 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”.
Nair, 56, was on life support since March 27 having been taken ill two weeks earlier and admitted to the University Hospital of North Tees Hospital in Stockton.
Practice manager Sarah Westgarth described her as “positive, encouraging and so caring. It’s quite unbelievable that seven weeks down the line, as a practice we are having to mourn the death of someone who is so important to us and a real focal point of the surgery”.
“I really feel for her family – her mum, husband and son. Her heart was with the NHS and what she could do to help her patients and the staff. She’ll be so missed.”
Nair joins the grim list of medical staff of Indian heritage who passed away from the virus, which includes Jitendra Kumar Rathod, Manjeet Singh Riyat, Krishan Arora, Rajesh Kalraiya, Pooja Sharma, Jayesh Patel, Vivek Sharma, Kamlesh Kumar Masson, Amarante Dias, Sophie Fagan, Hamza Pacheeri and Amrik Bamotra.
Their passing away reflects the reality of tens of thousands of Indian doctors and health care professionals arriving in the UK over the decades and taking up key jobs in the NHS.