Muslim schoolboy becomes youngest UK coronavirus victim

First three doctors killed in UK by coronavirus were also Muslims
Wednesday 01/04/2020
A pedestrian walks past an advertisement for 'Panicky in the UK' displayed on a phone box in the Soho district after they closed because of the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS)
A pedestrian walks past an advertisement for 'Panicky in the UK' displayed on a phone box in the Soho district after they closed because of the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS)

LONDON – A 13-year-old Muslim schoolboy has become the youngest victim of the worsening COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. 

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from South London, died at King College Hospital on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19 two days earlier. He reportedly did not have any pre-existing medical conditions, something that doctors have said puts patients at increased risk. 

“Ismail started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing and was admitted to King’s College Hospital. He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday morning,” his family said in a statement. 

A fundraising page was set up by Madinah College in South London to raise funeral expenses. 

“It is with great sadness to announce that the younger brother of one of our teachers at Madinah College has sadly passed away this morning [March 30] due to being infected with Covid 19,” the page read.

“Ismael was only 13 years old, without any pre-existing health conditions, and sadly he died without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid-19,” the page added. 

The GoFundMe campaign had aimed to raise £4,000 pounds for funeral expenses, but had raised more than £50,000 as of Wednesday morning. 

“Just to clarify, Mark Stephenson set up this fundraiser for Ismail's Family. Any extra money raised will go directly to the family,” an update said. “The family is overwhelmed and grateful to all the donors and prayers, may Allah bless you and reward you all.”

More than 1,800 people have died in the UK from COVID-19 so far, according to official figures from the Health Ministry, with one third of victims thought to be from London. 

The first three medical professionals reported to have died on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 were also Muslims. Three Muslim doctors – two of Sudanese descent and one Pakistani – are the first National Health Service (NHS) professionals to be killed by the coronavirus. 

On 25 March, Dr. Adil El-Tayar, 63, died at West Middlesex University Hospital in London. El-Tayar was a Sudanese organ transplant specialist who had been volunteering in an A & E department to fight the coronavirus. 

On 27 March, 76-year-old Dr Habib Zaidi became the second front line fatality. He was a family GP who had worked in Leigh-on-Sea before developing coronavirus symptoms. 

One day later, NHS consultant Amed El-Hawrani, 55, died in Leicester Royal Infirmary after testing positive for COVID-19. He was an ear, nose and throat specialist at Queen’s Hospital in Burton, Derbyshire, and was described as being “fit and healthy” before his diagnosis.