Coronavirus: Victim's family never got to say goodbye

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North Manchester HospitalImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The man was in isolation at North Manchester General Hospital

A coronavirus patient died in quarantine before his family got to say goodbye, his son has said.

The 60-year-old man, the third person with the virus to die in the UK, had recently returned from Italy.

He was put in isolation at North Manchester General Hospital after a visit to his GP, but died five days later.

His son told the BBC relatives, who have been advised to self-isolate, were unable to schedule a funeral.

"When they broke the news to me that he passed away - obviously I could not believe it,", the man's son said.

"We all burst into tears.

"I can't express how it feels to know that I won't be able to see him again," he added.

"Two months ago, this thing didn't even exist and now it took away my father."

The son, who does not want to be named, said "panic broke out" when his father turned up for a regular check-up at his GP's surgery wearing a mask.

He told staff he'd been on a two-week holiday in Italy where the family used to live and returned on 29 February for his scheduled appointment.

The 60-year-old, who is originally from Bangladesh, suffered from cholesterol, arthritis, heart problems, liver problems and shortness of breath.

He was immediately put into isolation and his family advised to quarantine themselves.

"The first couple of days, he was fairly stable but after that they were saying his blood was not oxygenated enough," said his son.

"Since we cannot go outside, we regularly called the ward and we asked daily how he was.

They did not allow me to speak to him directly."

He said the family receive daily texts from Public Health England asking if they are showing signs of the virus.

"So far… none of us have shown any symptoms," he added.

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