UK’s first Sikh emergency medicine consultant dies of Covid-19, bringing Indian NHS doctor deaths in Britain to 5 – Times of India


LONDON: Britain’s first Sikh emergency consultant has become one of the latest Covid-19 deaths to devastate the Indian doctor community working in Britain.
Manpreet Singh Riya, 52, who worked as an emergency medicine consultant at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB), passed away on April 20 at Royal Derby Hospital.
He leaves behind a wife and two sons. Gavin Boyle, chief executive of UHDB, said: “Manjeet was the first A&E consultant from the Sikh community in the country and was instrumental in building the emergency medicine service in Derbyshire over the past two decades. He was a widely respected consultant in emergency medicine nationally.”
Dr Rajesh Kalraiya, 69, a consultant paediatrician from Nagpur, who had most recently been working as a locum (a person who performs the duties of another is that person’s temporary absence), died of Covid-19 at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, on April 15 after being on a ventilator for 11 days. He recently donated a large sum of money to the the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer, Khargar, Navi Mumbai, in memory of his younger brother, Dr Rajiv Kalraiya, who worked at the Institute.
Dr Krishan Arora, 57 ,a senior partner in a GP practice in Croydon, became the fourth GP to succumb to the virus in Britain when he died on April 15 after testing positive for Covid-19. The Cambridge graduate is survived by his wife and children. There are two other India-born NHS doctors who have died from Covid-19 in the UK, bringing the total to five.
Around 100 NHS staff have died of the novel coronavirus so far, exacerbating calls for the UK government to step up its efforts to source more PPE. An RAF aircraft left the UK on Monday for Turkey to pick up a delayed delivery of protective kits.
The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) has set up a research forum with eminent researchers from Imperial College London and other academic institutions to investigate the deaths of BAME workers in the NHS from Covid-19 in order to find causes for their increased morbidity and mitigate risks for others.
BAPIO has also been invited to join the review team set up by the UK government to draw up an action plan to tackle the impact of Covid 19 on the BAME population.
Several more Indian nationals in the UK have died from Covid-19.
Most recently a Tech Mahindra Telugu employee working on a project at Vodafone Newbury, Hanumantha Rao Kopparapu, from Guntur, died of Covid-19 aged 47 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on April 19. He leaves behind a wife, son and daughter in the UK. He studied at Acharya Nagarjuna University in Guntur.
There are several more people on Indian passports, including students and professionals, in NHS hospitals battling Covid-19.
Vivek Sharma, an Indian-origin occupational therapist, has died in Kent after testing positive for Covid-19, and on April 9 a PIO independent retailer, Raj Aggarwal, 51, from Leicester, passed away after testing positive.
BAPIO president Ramesh Mehta said: “I am delighted that BAPIO is taking constructive steps to collaborate with top class research institutes to solve the puzzle of apparent higher mortality amongst BAME groups. This research has the potential to give data required to delineate vulnerable groups in the pandemic and give clear advice on how to reduce the impact on the BAME population.”


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