Healthy cab driver dies from coronavirus a week after ‘woman coughed in his taxi’

A fit and healthy cab driver died a week after a woman repeatedly coughed in his taxi, his family has claimed.

Ayub Akhtar, from Norwood in south London, was just 33 years old when he died of coronavirus last Friday.

Mr Akhtar, who was single and lived with his mother and siblings, began coughing and having breathing problems shortly after picking up the woman.

He had told his relatives he feared she had the virus and within days began to show symptoms of COVID-19.

Mr Akhtar’s brother, Yasser, described how quickly his brother’s condition deteriorated to MailOnline.

Yasser said: “He told us about the lady coughing behind him in his Prius a few days before and that he was worried about it. Then the coughing with him started and he felt cold the whole time. We had the central heating on all the whole time to help him.

“I could hear his painful coughing from his bedroom at night and that he was struggling for breath.”

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Mr Akhtar’s sister, Saleha, called the NHS helpline and they asked the family to monitor his condition.

“When it got to the point where he could hardly breath, the paramedics came and got him,” Yasser said.

Mr Akthar was at first admitted to the Mayday Hospital in Croydon and transferred to St. George’s Hospital, Tooting, where he passed away last Friday.

His brother added: “He was working hard to help pay for an extension on our house and the next step would have been for him to get married and have a family. Now all that has gone. It is so difficult. This has all come from nowhere…

“Ayub was a tolerant man, really well balanced. He was a Muslim and respected everyone. He loved his family and we loved him…

“We really want to thank the NHS workers for everything they did for Ayub. It must be so demoralising for them to have to see people dying like this.”

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