TRIBUTES have been paid to an “extraordinary” doctor who has died after contracting coronavirus.

Karamat Ullah Mirza, 84, had lived and worked in Clacton since 1974, and served patients at the Old Road Medical Practice.

The stalwart, who was raised in Pakistan by a family of doctors before moving to England in 1966, was still treating patients up until two weeks ago.

But last Monday, Dr Mirza was taken to hospital after both he and his wife of 48 years, nurse Estelle, 71, tested positive for coronavirus having developed symptoms.

Mrs Mirza recovered, but her husband’s condition rapidly deteriorated while being cared for on a Covid-19 ward, and on Sunday, Mr Mirza sadly passed away.

His wife, who has also worked at the Old Road Medical Practice for the previous ten years, urged the people of Clacton to remember him for the man and community figure he was, and not just as another virus victim.

"The whole town has been left in shock and is grieving, and I can’t believe it,” she said.

“He was no ordinary man, he was an extraordinary, exceptional and astonishing man, who was absolutely fearless and daring and had enormous knowledge.

“He worked endlessly for the NHS and non-stop for this country, and he was known and loved by everyone in Clacton and he loved all his staff and patients and this town.”

“My husband led an amazing life, and was very important within the community, and I want the people of Clacton to know what an amazing man he was.”


Estelle met her husband at a doctor’s party in 1969, when she was training to become a nurse, and they married three years later and had a son and daughter together.

Dr Mirza, who completed two medical degrees as his first wasn’t initially recognised in the UK, was also father to a son and daughter from two previous marriages.

He is understood to be one of the first Asian doctors to work in Clacton and, in addition to his experience in general practice, Dr Mirza had also worked as a clinical assistant in anaesthesia at Colchester Hospital for 20 years, as well as a clinical assistant in obstetrics in Clacton Hospital for 20 years.

Despite his age at the time of his sudden death, Mrs Mirza says her husband was a remarkably healthy man and had overcome many adversities throughout his life.

His courageous and positive personality and zest for life made him believe he would never catch Covid-19, and if he did, he would overcome it like he had everything else.

“He has cheated death loads of times and his life story is fit for a book – he has been kidnapped, been a prisoner of war and been attacked by a wild boar,” said Mrs Mirza.

“He was extremely healthy, fit and energetic, and he wasn’t frightened of coronavirus, but I don’t think he realised how bad it is.

“He didn’t think it would happen to him, because he never had a negative thought and he never believed he couldn’t do something.”