The family of a GP who has died of suspected coronavirus have said he sacrificed his life for his profession.
Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, died in intensive care at Southend Hospital, Essex, 24 hours after being taken ill on Tuesday.
His daughter Dr Sarah Zaidi, also a GP, said he showed “text book symptoms” of the virus.
If test results confirm he had Covid-19, he would be the first doctor in the UK to die from the virus.
Dr Sarah Zaidi told the BBC: “For that to be the thing that took him is too much to bear. It is reflective of his sacrifice. He had a vocational attitude to service.
“He was treated as a definitive case. There is little clinical doubt it is coronavirus, the test result is academic.”
Dr Habib Zaidi, a GP in Leigh-on-Sea for more than 45 years, had been self-isolating and not seen patients in person for about a week.
He was managing partner of Eastwood Group Practice with his wife Dr Talat Zaidi.
All their four children work in the medical profession.
Dr Zaidi’s son is a haematologist consultant in London. His daughters are a trainee surgeon, a dentist, and a GP.
Leader of Southend Council, Ian Gilbert, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Zaidi. Dr Zaidi and his family are well known and well-loved within the community.”
Patients and former staff have been paying tribute to a “well respected and loved GP” on social media.
On Facebook, one patient said: “A kinder more caring gentleman, doctor and friend you would be hard to find.”
Two years ago Dr Zaidi won an excellence award from the NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which described him as a “legend” who was “highly revered by staff and patients alike”.
Dr Zaidi’s widow has gone into quarantine away from the rest of the family.
Dr Sarah Zaidi said: “We can’t mourn in the normal way. We can’t have a normal funeral.”
Southend Hospital declined to comment.
Confirmed coronavirus deaths are announced by NHS England.