"He will be greatly missed by everyone."
A Heathrow Airport worker and his daughter have died from Coronavirus within 24 hours of each other.
Sudhir Sharma, aged 61, was an immigration officer at Heathrow. He died on March 25, 2020. His daughter Pooja, a hospital pharmacist, died the next day.
It is not known whether the pair had been in close contact with each other before their deaths.
Pooja worked as a pharmacist at Eastbourne General Hospital in East Sussex. It was believed that she spent three days receiving treatment before her death.
Border guards are talking about Sudhir’s death, although officials do not believe he contracted Coronavirus at work.
One source 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.”
Sudhir, of Hounslow, West London, is thought to have left work due to underlying health issues before returning to the frontline.
Airport workers expressed concerns over protection offered to staff, who claim they were not offered screens or face masks.
One questioned why flights from the Coronavirus epicentre Wuhan continued despite news of the health crisis breaking in December 2019.
Border Force Heathrow Director Nick Jariwalla said:
“Sudhir was a very well-respected, kind and experienced officer. He will be greatly missed by everyone.”
A university friend of Pooja said:
“Please, please, please inform family and friends to take this very seriously and to self-isolate, socially distance themselves as much as possible, for their families if not for themselves.”
A spokesperson for the Home Office said:
“The safety of the public and our staff is of the utmost importance.
“In line with Public Health England guidance, all staff have protective clothing and equipment available, including masks and disposable gloves, for when they are in close contact with anyone displaying symptoms.”
Pooja’s friend Ariba Sultan paid tribute on Facebook:
“She truly was one in a million. The world’s a lot less brighter without her here.
“If this doesn’t bring home the fact of how dangerous this virus is, then I don’t know what will.”
“She was full of life and a fighter, and it still took down not only her but her father – within days of one another!
“RIP Pooja, you were the most positive and dynamic person I knew.”
Another friend, Amarjit Aujla added:
“Her laughter was contagious and her random calls made my day.
“Life can never be the same without you, my dear friend. I will miss you so much.”