RVH doctor dies after suffering Covid-19 symptoms

A surgeon at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital has died after suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, the trade union Unison has confirmed.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 10:16 pm
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 10:55 pm
Dr Muhanad Nowar Eltayib

Doctor Muhanad Nowar Eltayib, who had worked on both sides of the Irish border for a number of years, has been praised as a “talented” and “life-saving” doctor.

Unison said the staff at the RVH have been saddened by news of the cardiac surgeon’s death.

“May his soul rest in peace and condolences to his family and friends ... Amen,” a post on the union’s Facebook page said on Monday night.

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One former patient responded to the tragic news with the reply: “This wee doctor seen me last year when I was having test done for my heart ... so sad God rest him.”

Another said: “Rest in peace ... a very talented life saving doctor gone ... how many lives did this man save?... God bless him and thank you.”

Dr Eltayib studied medicine at the University of Gezira near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

In a brief statement, the Belfast Health Trust said: “We are saddened to have learned of the death of our esteemed colleague. We send out our deepest sympathies to his family and colleagues at this difficult time.”

It was announced on Monday that a further 13 people in Northern Ireland have now died from coronavirus, bringing the total number of Covid-19 deaths in the Province to 207.

Also on Monday, Stormont health chiefs said that the potential death toll had been revised down to 1,500 during the first 20 weeks of the outbreak.

The news comes as Lisburn and Castlereagh became the latest council to reopen its public parks, leaving Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon, and Newry Mourne and Down as the only two authorities still keeping them closed.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “The actions we have taken over the last number of weeks is making a real difference. Our health service has not been overwhelmed.”

However, Dr Tom Black of the BMA has warned that Northern Ireland will face a second wave, “worse than the first one,” if social distancing measures are not continued.

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecution Service has said there is “a need for greater clarity” on the freedom to exercise outside under lockdown, despite the PSNI having given extensive information to the public on the matter.

And many private care homes could be left “teetering on the brink” of financial ruin due to the ongoing pandemic, it has been claimed.