Kingston Hospital paid tribute to Dr Anton Sebastianpillai on announcing he had died after testing positive for Covid-19 coronavirus.

Dr Sebastianpillai specialised in treating the elderly and as such his skills were in high demand at the hospital during the crisis, with older residents more susceptible to severe symptoms of the virus.

He died on Saturday (April 4), four days after he was admitted to intensive care, a spokesperson for the hospital said.

The consultant geriatrician, who qualified as a doctor in Sri Lanka in 1967, finished his last shift on March 20.

“It is with great sadness that I confirm the death of a consultant geriatrician who was part of the team at Kingston Hospital.

“Dr Anton Sebastianpillai died on Saturday having been cared for in the hospital’s intensive care unit since March 31.

“We would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family,” a statement released by Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust read.

Acting Liberal Democrat leader and MP for Kingston and Surbiton Ed Davey tweeted it was “very sad news” and said he had been “privileged” to meet Dr Sebastianpillai, calling him a “hugely respected” consultant and author.

Dr Sebastianpillai trained at the Peradeniya Medical School in Sri Lanka and qualified in 1967, according to the institution.

In an obituary notice, he was referred to as a “distinguished alumnus” who had authored an illustrated history of Sri Lanka.

Elsewhere in the capital, a British Pakistani GP based in east London died in hospital on Monday after it is believed he developed coronavirus symptoms.

Kingston Hospital recorded its first death from coronavirus on March 23.

The Royal Borough of Kingston as a whole has witnessed fewer cases of the coronavirus than most other London Boroughs, with 199 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of midday on Wednesday (April 8).

Director of Public Heath at Kingston Council (RBK), Iona Lidington, remarked this week that residents in the boroughs seemed to be heading the government’s advice well on staying home, regularly washing hands for 20 seconds and making sure they followed social distancing rules when going outside.

“I’m pleased to say – and I think evidence over the weekend supported that – that people in Kingston are very much following the stay at home advice.

“Despite the lovely weather we were able to check with both our police colleagues and our staff on the ground that people were doing the social distancing, and were only out for the exercise, they weren’t having picnics in the park.

“They have really heeded that national message,” she said.

RBK have meanwhile coordinated a massive volunteer effort with community groups to help the borough’s most vulnerable through the pandemic.