‘Fit and healthy’ Uber driver, 33, texted ‘pray for me’ before dying of coronavirus he ‘caught from coughing passenger’

AN UBER driver with no underlying health conditions died of coronavirus after a woman repeatedly coughed in his taxi, his brother has said.

Cabbie Ayub Akhtar, from South London, was just 33 years old, when he died of Covid-19 last Friday.

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 Ayub Akhtar was just 33 years old when he died of coronavirus last Friday


Ayub Akhtar was just 33 years old when he died of coronavirus last FridayCredit: GoFundMe

Ayub’s brother, Yasser, said he developed coronavirus symptoms shortly after picking up the coughing passenger.

Yasser told the Daily Mail: “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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Yasser said that when his brother’s breathing worsened, they called for an ambulance.

Ayub was at first admitted to the Mayday Hospital in Croydon and transferred to St. George’s Hospital, Tooting.

In a text message sent to his family from his bed in intensive care, Ayub wrote: “I am really scared… pray for me.”

Days later, he passed away. Tragically, his family could not be by his side in hospital because of the infectious disease.

Yasser said: “We were not able to see him. But we knew it was bad because if we texted him, it took a day before he responded.

“He said he was scared because the doctors were asking him to try and breathe with his lungs and he couldn’t.

“It has all happened so quick. It destroyed him.”

Yasser added: “This is such a difficult time. We haven’t been allowed to see him and don’t know when we can have the funeral. In our religion, we prefer burials to be done within a day or two.”

A total of 7,978 people have now died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 881 on Wednesday.

It comes as the government urged people to stay home over Easter as police warned they were ready to take action against those who flouted the coronavirus lockdown rules.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was still too soon for ministers to begin lifting the strict social distancing rules introduced last month.

Mr Raab – who has been deputising for Boris Johnson – said they could not begin to start looking again at the measures until the end of next week.

Meanwhile Downing Street said the Prime Minister – who had been in intensive care since Monday evening – has been returned to the ward at St Thomas’ Hospital following an improvement in his condition.

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