THE story of a Bradford family who have suffered loss at the hands of coronavirus has been told by Professor John Wright in his latest BBC diary entry.

Professor Wright, who is the head of the Bradford Institute for Health Research, shares stories from the city's frontline response to the COVID-19 crisis, as part of his diary series.

In a new entry, he has spoken of how the virus has "swept through" three streets in West Bowling, causing one family heartbreak. 

Local resident Abdul Majid lost his uncle, Nawab Ali, to coronavirus this month, while his father, Abdul Saboor, is in intensive care with the virus.

61-year-old Nawab Ali passed away on 17 October after he was in a coma for three weeks at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Abdul Majid has also had COVID-19 himself, while "numerous members" of his family, as well as those living on nearby Parkside Road, Springwood Avenue and Avenue Road, have also had it, Professor Wright said.

Abdul Majid said: "I was good at science and have a degree in science but I didn't take COVID seriously at the beginning. I used to laugh. I thought there was no such thing. I laughed at it and now it's laughing at me. It's heartbreaking.

"It's not just our family, it's all our street. Every house has had it, every house member has been ill", he added.

Professor Wright goes on to explain how the chair of the Parkside mosque, Haji Amir Kabil Raja, who died two days before Abdul Majid's uncle, is being "widely mourned", while his brother, Haji Amir Afzal Raja, is also unwell.

Professor Wright adds that there is a "strong feeling" in the area that the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme was when the virus began to spread further - as it caused people to "let their guard down" - although this "cannot be proven".

Mohammed Mukhtar Khan, who recently returned to his home on Avenue Road after spending six days in hospital, said: "It's hit hard here because people didn't take it seriously - or they did for the first lockdown, but that all changed with the eat out scheme".

"I think this is where the problem came - I think it's people gathering together in the restaurants. In the first wave people were scared, and then when they started promoting the restaurant scheme it made it very bad."

Local resident Shahid Islam, a senior research fellow at the Bradford Institute of Health Research, is also featured in Professor Wright's latest diary entry.

He said: "I phoned one resident yesterday and he said all his family have it, and he has it quite badly right now.

"A few other people have not been seen recently and when I asked their relatives I was told they are ill at home, recovering."

Two other residents, Bob and Liz, have died in the last few days, though in at least one of those cases it is unclear whether COVID-19 was responsible or not, Professor Wright adds.

Professor Wright also said that, last week, the national test and trace programme managed to trace less than 60 per cent of contacts, which was a record low, while the figure for Bradford stood at less than 50 per cent.

He added that local test and trace teams are proving to be a lot more effective, managing to trace more than 90 per cent of contacts.

Waseem Khan, who works night shifts for the Ministry of Justice, is also quoted, claiming that he would often see queues of people who were not socially distancing while making his way to work in the evenings

He had coronavirus himself and was ill for four weeks, while his parents also spent time in ICU.

They have since come home, but Waseem's mother's brother, Abdul Saboor - who is Abdul Majid's father - is now on ICU, after being transferred from Bradford Royal Infirmary to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.

Waseem occasionally drives over to Halifax, parking nearby, to be close to his uncle, even though he is not allowed inside.

"There's a certain comfort you get from it," he says. "It's a very strange and testing time."