FAMILY and friends of a Bury GP who died after a five-week battle with coronavirus have paid tribute to the much-loved doctor who “spread kindness and warmth” working at his Ramsbottom practice for almost 20 years.

Dr Saad Al-Dubbaisi, who worked at Garden City Medical Centre in Holcombe Brook, died at Salford Royal Hospital on Sunday.

The 59-year-old GP had been ill for five weeks after contracting coronavirus.

The Iraqi doctor is believed to be the first GP in Greater Manchester to die from coronavirus.

He lived in Walshaw with his wife Monah and his two daughters who are also doctors.

His daughter Halah works as a doctor at Kings College Hospital in London.

His daughter Zainab, who has most recently worked at North Manchester General Hospital, paid tribute to her father on behalf of the family.

She said: “Dr Saad Al-Dubbaisi was the most loving and kind husband and father, he will forever be in our hearts.

“From being born in Iraq and graduating from Baghdad Medical College in 1983, he has been working as a dedicated GP in Bury for almost 20 years.

“Wherever he worked he spread kindness and warmth with his gentle smile and big heart, and was loved by his patients. We will miss him always.

“We are extremely grateful to all the NHS staff who looked after him during his battle with COVID-19.”

Dr Rafid Aziz, president of the United Iraqi Medical Association for the UK and Ireland, also paid tribute to the much-loved doctor.

The GP trainer who works in Hertfordshire knew Dr Al-Dubbaisi from his time at the University of Baghdad and graduated in medicine a year later.

Dr Al-Dubbaisi’s brother, who is a breast surgeon working in London, is a close friend of Dr Aziz.

He said: “We are all shocked. He was a hard-working doctor and a very respected man as a human.

“He was well-loved by his colleagues and his patients. He was very generous and he was always calm and there to help. It’s really sad.”

Dr Al-Dubbaisi’s funeral is set to take place tomorrow. It is hoped that there will be a drive-by in front of the practice where he worked.