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NHS doctor dies after contracting coronavirus as wife and son battle disease

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MIRROR 13 APR 2020

Tributes are being paid to an NHS doctor who died after contracting coronavirus as his wife and son continue to battle the disease.

Dr Eric Labeja-Acellam was a consultant at University Hospital Lewisham in south-east London and was originally from Uganda.

The 69-year-old is said to have lost his fight on March 31 at King’s College Hospital and is one of almost 40 NHS workers to die after becoming infected with the flu-like bug.

His wife Jennifer Lawala, a well-known musician in her native Uganda, and their son Oscar Acellam have also contracted Covid-19, according to reports.

Dr Eric Labeja-Acellam died on March 31 after contracting coronavirus (Image: Twitter)

In an interview from her hospital bed last week, Ms Lawala told Uganda Radio Network (URN) that she had been admitted to an intensive care unit.

She was in a stable condition, she added.

She told URN that her son Oscar was also battling Covid-19.

Posts on Ms Lawala’s Facebook page thanked her friends for their condolences and well wishes.

Ms Lawala’s husband, Dr Labeja-Acellam, died after contracting coronavirus last month, Uganda’s Observer newspaper reported.

A friend paying tribute to the doctor wrote on Facebook: “RIP Dr Labeja Acellam. I will value all the daily advise you gave me whenever I came to your shop on Lewisham High Road.

“And I will never forget your efforts in trying to save my cousin brother when he was admitted in Lewisham Hospital.

“Unfortunately I can’t come to mourn you because of ban on gatherings. Ajwaka RIP till we meet again.”

Another Facebook user wrote: “I vividly remembered his relentless input in trying to save the late Mike.

“His commitment was something way out of the ordinary, indeed.

“He was such a gem to the entire community. It’s tragic that We have lost Him so young.”

Another tribute on Facebook read: “UK has lost a great Ugandan medical consultant Dr. Acellam Labeja of Lewisham University Hospital.

“May his soul rest in eternal peace.

“A very humble WodAcholi who was always there for anyone in UK.”

The doctor and his wife were from the Pader district in the north of the country.

Ms Lawala moved to the UK in the early 2000s at the peak of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency led by Joseph Kony, the Observer reported.

She and Roselyn Storms Otim, another Ugandan musician who has tested positive for Covid-19, composed songs in Acholi to bring attention to the plight of their people at the hands of the LRA and compel Kony to abandon the insurgency.138208672551

At least eight citizens of Uganda have died of coronavirus in the UK, the Red Pepper newspaper reported.

Britain’s coronavirus death toll has climbed to 11,344 after 697 more patients died – but it is a drop for the second day in a row.

The total previously stood at 10,647 on Sunday afternoon after a rise of 710, which was down from a daily increase of 917 on Saturday.

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