Cases of coronavirus in Kingston and across South West London and north Surrey continued to rise this week as staff at the town’s NHS Foundation Trust observed a minutes’ silence for their colleagues at the hospital lost to the deadly virus.

During last week’s annual general meeting, staff paused in silence to remember the lives of Sebastian Pillai, a consultant geriatrician, Abdul Gellaledin, an ambulance care assistant, and Ken Lambatan, a nurse.

All three men worked at Kingston Hospital and battled the impacts of the pandemic, before fatally contracting the virus themselves earlier this year.

“Our love goes to their families and their loved ones,” Sian Bates, the chair of Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said.

In a short film made by hospital staff in response to the pandemic, Kelvin Cheatle, director of workforce, spoke about hearing the news that a colleague had passed away because of Covid.

He said: “The initial reaction was obviously one of shock, sadness, there were tears shed, but very quickly it turned into a determination, and you could sense it and feel it. 

“It was a visceral thing that people were determined. We were going to do our very best for our colleagues and patients and in the literal terms, fight this virus to come through the other side.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Trust has recorded 164 coronavirus deaths.

However, according to the latest data published by NHS England, there has not been a coronavirus-related death at the trust since June 30.

Despite this, new cases of the virus continued to be confirmed in the Kingston area and across the region in recent days, echoing fears of a second wave sweeping across the UK.

According to the latest Public Health England (PHE) data, at least 11 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Kingston area between September 5-11.

Five new of the new cases were confirmed in the Kingston Hill postcode area, with an additional three reported in Teddington Central and three more in Berrylands South.

In neighbouring boroughs the situation was similar with additional cases confirmed in Mitcham, Elmbridge, Richmond and Twickenham and Epsom and Ewell in recent days.

Back at Kingston Hospital, Chief Executive Jo Farrar thanked staff “for their extraordinary efforts in maintaining the delivery of outstanding care for patients in extremely challenging circumstances”.

He added: “I did not expect to be leading Kingston Hospital through a global pandemic when I was appointed chief executive last year, but in the true Kingston Hospital style, the team around me rose to the challenge, and what we achieved together has been extraordinary and something we should all feel really proud of.”

Looking forward, Jo said: “We have a very real focus on the demands of winter and also making preparations for a potential further surge in Covid activity.”