TRIBUTES have been paid to Leigh GP Dr Habib Zaidi as NHS bosses confirmed he died after contracting coronavirus.

Yesterday, it was revealed Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, died in Southend Hospital within 24 hours of being taken into intensive care.

He is the first doctor in the UK to die after contracting Covid-19

The NHS stressed Dr Zaidi, a GP at Eastwood Group Practice in Leigh, did not see patients while he was symptomatic.

Any close contacts while he suffered any symptoms of Covid-19, believed to be his family, are now following self-isolation guidance. 

Dr Hamid Mahgoub, Covid-19 Incident Director for Public Health England East,said: “We are saddened by the death of GP from Essex and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

“The individual did not see patients while they were symptomatic. His close contacts that may have seen him whilst he was symptomatic have been following the self-isolation guidance."

Dr Jose Garcia-Lobera, GP Chair, NHS Southend clinical commissioning group, said: "Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dr Zaidi's family at this devastating time.

"A hugely respected, selfless man who dedicated his life to helping others.

"Dr Zaidi will always be remembered for his significant contribution to local health services through his long career as a GP.

"His loss is deeply felt by his staff, fellow clinician and wider community.

"Our thoughts are with his family, who we hope can, in time, can take comfort from the incredible legacy he has left behind."