Coronavirus: Doctor in his 70s at Kingston Hospital dies

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai

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Kingston Hospital

A doctor who specialised in treating the elderly has died after testing positive for Covid-19.

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai, who was in his 70s, died on Saturday, four days after being admitted to Kingston Hospital in south-west London.

The consultant geriatrician, who qualified as a doctor in Sri Lanka in 1967, finished his last shift at the hospital on 20 March.

It is believed Dr Sebastianpillai came out of retirement to help the NHS.

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“It is with great sadness that I confirm the death of a consultant geriatrician who was part of the team at Kingston Hospital,” a spokeswoman for Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said.

“Dr Anton Sebastianpillai died on Saturday having been cared for in the hospital’s intensive care unit since 31 March.

“We would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family.”

‘Hugely respected’

Dr Sebastianpillai trained at the Peradeniya Medical School in Sri Lanka and qualified in 1967, according to the institution.

In an obituary notice, he was referred to as a “distinguished alumnus”.

People have taken to social media to pay tribute to the doctor.

Acting Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey tweeted it was “very sad news” and he had been “privileged” to meet Dr Sebastianpillai, calling him a “hugely respected” consultant and author.

Another Twitter user said: “Deeply saddened to hear Dr Anton Sebastianpillai, a British Tamil doctor who came out of retirement to help at Kingston Hospital has lost his life to Covid-19 .

“Am questioning if the government should be asking 70+ year olds to come out of retirement to fight Covid-19.”

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