A doctor who warned the prime minister about a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS workers has died after contracting coronavirus.
Consultant urologist Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, died at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, east London, on Wednesday.
Five days before he was admitted to hospital, Dr Chowdhury had appealed for “appropriate PPE and remedies” to “protect ourselves and our families”.
Matt Hancock said the UK has made a “Herculean effort” to deliver PPE.
Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, he said the “plan to protect the people who protect us” included creating a new domestic manufacturing industry.
Dr Chowdhury’s son Intisar described the consultant urologist as a “kind and compassionate hero” who had been in “such pain” when he wrote the appeal to the government on Facebook.
“He wrote that post while he was in that state, just because of how much he cared about his co-workers.”
He added he was “so proud” that his father had had the “courage… to point out something wrong that the government was doing”.
“I’m glad it is getting the attention now that it needs to protect NHS workers on the front line because it pains me to say that my father is not the first and he is unfortunately not going to be the last NHS front-line worker to die.”
Dr Chowdhury, who worked at Homerton University Hospital in east London, was admitted to hospital on 23 March.
The hospital’s chief executive Tracey Fletcher said he would be “greatly missed by every member of the urology department, as well as by all those who knew him in outpatients, wards, theatres and management”.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), said it was “so tragic” that the 53-year-old had died after issuing a warning about a lack of PPE.
“Our hearts go out to him and all the other healthcare workers who are providing frontline care,” he said.
The Department of Health and Social Care previously said it was “working closely with industry, the NHS, social care providers and the Army” and “if staff need to order more PPE there is a hotline in place”.