Coronavirus: 13-year-old with Covid-19 'died alone' without his family around him, friend says

A 13-year-old boy who became the UK’s youngest known coronavirus victim died alone without his family around him, a family friend told ITV News.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab passed away in the early hours of Monday at King’s College Hospital in London - he believed to be the youngest person to have died from the virus in the UK.

His family said to their knowledge Ismail had no underlying health conditions.

Family friend Mohammed Motlib told ITV News: “No one else is allowed to be around that individual that means on your death bed in your last moments, you are alone.

“He was a young boy, 13 without his mother, without any of his siblings on his deathbed in the last moments.

"That’s very hard to understand and digest as to how lonely that moment must have been, but the belief we have is that he's gone to a place that’s better.”

His family said they are "heartbroken" at Ismail's death and described him as a "gentle and kind" child.

In a statement released through GoFundMe, they said he leaves behind six siblings who are all "devastated" at his death, especially as they were unable to visit him in hospital.

“Ismail was a loving son, brother, nephew to our family and a friend to many people who knew him. His smile was heart-warming and he was always gentle and kind," the statement said.

“We as a family are still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of Ismail. He leaves behind six siblings who are completely devastated and this has been made more difficult not being able to be with Ismail while he was in the hospital.”

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab died at King's College Hospital in London. Credit: PA

Mr Motlib said Ismail’s family must wish this was a nightmare they could wake up from and explained they are yet to bury Ismail.

He described the 13-year-old as a “loving pure child” who was full of joy and would make you smile.

"Anyone who meets him would fall in love with his character immediately and you would feel the pure love emanate from himself," Mr Motlib said.

“Ismail was a caring young individual, he loved animals so even when the paramedics came to visit and take him on the night that he became ill, and they asked him what he wanted to be, he made it clear that he wanted to be a vet and expressed his care and love towards animals."

Mr Motlib said Ismail's death shows how virus "doesn't discriminate between rich and poor or young and old."

"It's real, every single one of us needs to take measures to protect ourselves," he added.

But he said one of the "beautiful things to have come from this" was the way the UK has come together to support and grieve with the family.