Immigration officer, daughter die of COVID-19 in a span of 24 hours

Sudhir Sharma, 61,of Hounslow  with daughter Pooja, 33. (Courtesy: Facebook)
Sudhir Sharma, 61,of Hounslow with daughter Pooja, 33. (Courtesy: Facebook)

IN a double tragedy, a Heathrow immigration officer from Hounslow and his daughter have died of COVID-19.

Reports said Sudhir Sharma, a Terminal 3 officer, had succumbed to ailments on Wednesday, and Pooja, a pharmacist, died the next day.

Officials said it was unlikely that Sharma got infected while on duty, as he had been on leave from January 7 due to “underlying health problems”.

Pooja, who worked at Eastbourne District General Hospital in East Sussex, was reportedly under treatment for three days.

Nick Jariwalla, director of Border Force at Heathrow, told The Sun: “Sudhir was a very well-respected, kind and experienced officer. He will be greatly missed by everyone.”

One of Sudhir’s colleagues said: “It’s an absolute tragedy. He was a lovely, lovely man. Every immigration officer is talking about it.

“There are concerns about his widow being unable to attend the funeral because of the isolation issues. It’s just so awful.”

Pooja’s friends, meanwhile, urged the public to be more cautious as they paid tributes, with one of them saying: “Please, please, please inform family and friends to take this very seriously and to self-isolate, socially distance themselves as much as possible….”

Another friend, Amarjit Aujl, wrote on Facebook.“Her laughter was contagious and her random calls made my day. From when we were in primary school until we last spoke 2 weeks ago, you gave me nothing but love, support and a tummy ache with all the laughter,”

“Life can never be the same without you my dear friend.”

A pharmacist friend added: “Please take this seriously, guys, and stay at home. There is nothing that cannot wait for a few months. Do this for your family if not for yourself.”

As of this morning, the UK registered 14,543 COVID-19 cases and 759 deaths.