"We knew that if he got it, that would be him done."
A former Burberry tailor is among seven residents who died from Coronavirus at a care home in Stepney.
It was revealed that another 21 people are ill with possible symptoms.
A dozen staff members from the Hawthorn Green home in Redmans Road are also off work, either self-isolating or shielding.
A spokesperson for the care home said:
“Like many care homes across the UK, Hawthorn Green is now caring for residents who are symptomatic with coronavirus.
“Regrettably, seven residents have died who had symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
“Twenty-one residents are showing at least one symptom consistent with the virus.
“Immediately upon detecting either a high temperature, a cough, shortness of breath or any combination of these each resident is cared for in isolation in accordance with strict infection control measures.”
Tributes have been paid to Jamshad Ali, one of the residents who died after contracting the virus. He had lived in the care home for just over three years.
He was a retired tailor who moved to London from Bangladesh in 1962. Mr Ali worked for the fashion house Burberry, among others.
Mr Ali died on March 24, 2020, in the Royal London Hospital. His death came a week after returning to the home from a hospital admission for a chest infection.
The care home told his family that other residents had Coronavirus and several more were showing symptoms.
They were not allowed to be at his bedside and only a few were permitted to attend his burial.
His daughter, Luthfa Hood, said:
“If we had known the virus was so prevalent in Hawthorn Green we would not have sent him back there after he had been in hospital. We knew that if he got it, that would be him done.
“They should have rolled out testing and isolating earlier. He was back in A&E a few days after returning to the care home.
“We cannot praise the NHS enough for what they did. But there needs to be more testing, especially in places like care homes where the most vulnerable live.
“He was always incredibly well turned out. Even after he retired he always looked so smart.
“I remember him coming home once when I was a child, about 10, and him handing me a little coat with a Burberry label in it.
“Of course I didn’t know how special that was then. He was a traditional and very hardworking man.”
Mr Ali is survived by his wife, four children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The care home spokesperson said:
“Mr Ali was a much-loved member of Hawthorn Green Care Home and he will be greatly missed – our hearts go out to his family.
“We appreciate that this is a very worrying time for residents, families and our staff and we are doing everything we can to provide the best care in the days and weeks ahead. That is our number one priority.”
East London Advertiser reported that there are growing concerns about the care sector’s ability to cope with the pandemic.
The Department of Health and Social Care said:
“We are working around the clock to give the social care sector the support they need to tackle this outbreak, including providing personal protective equipment to over 26,000 care home providers across the country.”