London doctor who worked in Saudi Arabia becomes first working surgeon to die from COVID-19

Adil El-Tayar worked at the capital’s St. Mary’s and St. George’s hospitals during his career and passed away on March 25 at a hospital in the west of the city. from coronavirus. (Supplied/NHS)
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Updated 29 March 2020

London doctor who worked in Saudi Arabia becomes first working surgeon to die from COVID-19

  • Worked in Kingdom in 2007 for three years at the King Fahd General Hospital in Jeddah

LONDON: An organ transplant consultant in London, who also worked in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, has become the first National Health Service surgeon to die in the UK as a result of the coronavirus.

Adil El-Tayar worked at the capital’s St. Mary’s and St. George’s hospitals during his career and passed away on March 25 at a hospital in the west of the city.

He had been self-isolating after showing symptoms for the COVID-19 virus and was admitted to hospital five days before his death.

His cousin, also a doctor, said the 63-year-old had tested positive for the virus and spent his final days in intensive care.

“His son was really scared that he wasn’t going to make it. This disease is horrible and is going to cause more heartbreak for many more families for weeks to come,” Hisham El-Khidir told the BBC.

“Adil was someone who was central to our family, who was well-respected by so many people,” he added.

He worked as a transplant surgeon at the St. George’s Hospital before he started working in Saudi Arabia in 2007 for three years at the King Fahd General Hospital in Jeddah.

He also worked in his native Sudan, establishing a transplant program while working at Ibn Sina Hospital in the capital Khartoum.

He then returned to St. George’s Hospital as a locum surgeon.

The British Ambassador to Sudan Irfan Siddiq paid tribute to the doctor along with El-Tayer’s cousin, the BBC journalist Zeinab Badawi.


Philippines cracks down on clandestine COVID-19 clinics

Updated 2 min 40 sec ago

Philippines cracks down on clandestine COVID-19 clinics

  • Intelligence, immigration officials investigating illegal facilities that catered mostly to foreigners

MANILA: The Philippines has intensified its crackdown on uncertified medical facilities offering treatment to people, particularly foreigners, with COVID-19 symptoms.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to help the Philippine National Police (PNP) track down foreign nationals behind the illegal clinics.
“It seems that clandestine medical clinics catering mostly to foreign nationals have sprouted and have been operating without proper authority,” Guevarra told reporters.
He said the facilities could have compromised the health of those who had undergone treatment.
“I’ll therefore ask the NBI and the BI to help the police in locating other similar underground clinics and the people running them, and if warranted, to file the appropriate charges against them,” he added.
Guevarra issued the order following a raid on Tuesday on an illegal clinic catering to Chinese patients in Makati City. Arrested in the operation were Chinese nationals Dr. David Lai, 49, and Liao Bruce, 41.
The clinic was reportedly operating without a permit, while the arrested did not have a license to practice medicine in the country.
Seized from the site were swab sticks, vials, syringes and boxes of medicine with Chinese labels — believed to be unregistered with the Food and Drug Administration.
Last week, law enforcers also swooped on a makeshift hospital for Chinese patients in the Fontana Leisure Park in Clark, Pampanga province.
The raid came after police received information that a COVID-19 patient was “undergoing medical attention” in a Fontana villa.
Arrested during the raid were Chinese nationals Liu Wei, who reportedly supervised the facility, and Hu Shiling, allegedly a pharmacist. Both were released on the same day without charge.
Immigration officials on Thursday said the duo had been placed on their watch list to prevent them from leaving the country while an investigation is underway.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said intelligence operatives will trace four of the patients, and are looking into the case of the Chinese nationals arrested in Makati.
“I’ve instructed our intelligence division to investigate if these alleged Chinese doctors are legally staying in the country,” he said.
“Should we find they violated our immigration laws, they’ll be charged with deportation cases before our law and investigation division,” he added.
“Even if no criminal charges were filed against them, they can be charged for immigration law violations if we can establish that they violated the conditions of their stay in the country.”
If criminal charges are filed, however, the BI will only deport them after their cases have been resolved or they have served their sentences, if convicted.
Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros called for the “immediate deportation and blacklisting” of the Chinese nationals because of their “blatant disregard of our laws.”
She added that while the Philippines is working hard to protect its people from the virus, “these criminals freely roam and pose a danger to public health.”