January 23, 2021

Coronavirus: 13-year-old boy dies, says London hospital trust

A 13-year-old boy who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a London hospital trust has said.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton in south London, died in King’s College Hospital early on Monday. He is thought to be the youngest person to have died with the virus in the UK.

A spokesman for the trust said the boy’s death had been referred to the coroner, but gave no further details.

As of 17:00 BST on Monday, the number of UK deaths was 1,789.

The latest figures saw a daily increase of 381 – the biggest rise so far.

Ismail’s family said they were “beyond devastated” by his death, in a statement released by a family friend.

They said he had no apparent underlying health conditions and tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day after he was admitted to hospital.

BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle said it was rare for teenagers to become seriously ill after being infected with coronavirus.

“Just 0.3% of those who show symptoms require hospital care and 0.006% die – in other words, two out of every 30,000 infections among this age group will not survive,” he said.

“But it does happen, as this distressing case shows.”

Ismail’s family said he was admitted to the hospital in south London after he had begun showing symptoms and having difficulties breathing.

“He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday [Monday] morning,” they said.

“To our knowledge he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated.”

Mark Stephenson, college director at Madinah College, in south-west London, where Ismail’s sister works as a teacher, has set up a fundraiser to raise money for the funeral costs.

A statement on the page said Ismail died “without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid-19”.

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