Mother of 5 dies from COVID-19 on a visit to Pakistan

LONDON: A mother of five who was a respected councillor has died after contracting Covid-19 during a trip to Pakistan.

Shabnum Sadiq, who served on Slough Borough Council, died on April 6 after suffering “complications” from the virus.

She leaves behind her husband and five children including 13-year-old quads.

She had travelled to Pakistan in March to attend a wedding but could not go back as she was struck by coronavirus just within five days. A family friend said that she was in Rawalpindi to attend a wedding and developed complications two weeks ago. Her husband Raja Afran also caught COVID-19 during the same trip but he recovered within two weeks. It’s not clear whether the couple contracted the deadly virus in the UK or in Pakistan.

A spokesman for the local authority said that it was flying flags at half-mast at the council offices in tribute to the 39-year-old.

Mrs Sadiq was elected to Wexham Lea ward in May 2016 and served on various council committees. She was a former lead member for education and children’s services.

Council leader James Swindlehurst said: “This is very shocking for all of us and our thoughts are with her family and friends.

“Shabnum was a dedicated councillor and despite only being in her first term, she had made a contribution far beyond the years she’d spent in the council chamber.

“We worked together closely and personally I will miss her very deeply. This is a significant loss for the council and the town but is nothing compared to the loss her family, close friends and community are feeling right now.

“This has brought home to us that not only is this virus something we have to deal with as a town, but also personally; through our work, through our actions and through our grief for those it has taken.

“Behind every statistic about this virus is a family ripped apart and there is no starker example of that, to us in the council, than to lose one of our colleagues. May she rest in peace and her family find comfort in the love she had for them all.”

Shabnum Sadiq’s father Raja Shirza is a well-known community leader in Slough. Raja Shiraz has served as the Vice President of Pakistan Welfare Association Slough. A family source said that she will be buried in Matore village in Rawalpindi.

Her family members in the UK said they will not be able to attend her funeral due to travel lockdown. The local community has paid glowing tributes to the much-liked councilor.

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