Retired UK doctor dies after returning to work to fight coronavirus

Dr Alfa Saadu, originally from Nigeria, died on Tuesday

A sign thanking NHS staff and key workers is displayed outside The Westbourne pub in Bournemouth, south England as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus Wednesday April 1, 2020. The highly contagious COVID-19 coronavirus has impacted on nations around the globe, many imposing self isolation and exercising social distancing when people move from their homes. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)
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A retired doctor who returned to work to help fight coronavirus has died after contracting the virus.

Former medical director, Dr Alfa Saadu, answered the UK government's pleas to come out of retirement to help treat the rise in patients.

But two weeks ago Dr Saadu, who is originally from Nigeria, contracted the virus and died on Tuesday.

His son Dani described the 68-year-old on Facebook as a "living legend" who had worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years saving people’s lives in the UK and in Africa.

He wrote: “The NHS were amazing and did everything they could.

“The coronavirus is not a joke, please take it seriously and listen to the government."

Dr Saadu is the fourth UK doctor to die in the last two weeks from the virus.

His nephew urged people on Twitter to stay at home.

He said: "Today, 31 March, 2020. I lost an uncle - Dr. Alfa Saadu (Galadiman Pategi) to #COVID19 in the UK.

"A retired volunteer medical doctor that contracted the virus trying to save lives. This thing is not a joke. Please #stayhome and #staysafe."

Nigeria's Emir of Ilorin and Chairman of Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, described Dr Saadu as a "great asset".

He said: "He was one of the finest medical practitioners whose penchant for professionalism, humanity and traditional institutions knows-no-bound as a foremost product of the emirate."

He had been helping out at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire.

The physician had retired as the medical director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in 2016.