CORONAVIRUS has claimed the lives of hundreds of people living and working in the county.

There have been about 440 deaths in county from the virus so far, including those who worked on the frontline.

Jodon Gait, who was a healthcare assistant at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, died on April 25 after he contracted Covid-19. Tributes poured in for the 46-year-old.

A nurse who worked closely with Mr Gait, said: “Losing a member of our team to Covid-19 is absolutely heartbreaking. I still can’t quite believe it. We see people battle it everyday and it never gets easier and now it has taken a colleague.

“Rest in peace, Jodon. You were always so kind, caring and compassionate to each of your patients. You will be missed by us all.”

The chief of Worcestershire’s hospitals trust said Mr Gait was “much-loved” among staff.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Jodon was a dedicated and highly experienced health care assistant who had been with us for just over 12 months, working on the Medical Short Stay Unit at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“Colleagues who worked most closely with him describe Jodon as a dedicated, passionate, caring colleague, a quirky character who always put patients at the centre of everything he did, delivering fantastic quality of care to his patients and who had a great sense of humour who will be massively missed by all of the team.”

Rachel Cox, who also worked with Mr Gait, said: “I will never forget your kind face, so friendly and pure.

“You always helped me with the residents when I asked, you were so kind to them. Covid-19 took you.

“God bless, Jodon, and goodnight. I will miss our laughs. You will never be forgotten.”

“He was all always there when I needed help he was just one in a million will never forget our laughs.”

Dr Vishnu Rasiah, 48, also died at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. He worked at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust as a paediatric consultant.

His wife, Liza Rasiah, paid tribute to the “kindness, compassion and care” staff showed her husband.

“Vish loved his work; to him it was so much more than a job and his colleagues are part of our family too.

“His whole family meant the world to him, and he absolutely doted on Katelyn [daughter]."

Nurse Julie Omar died at home on April 10 after self-isolating.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Julie was a dedicated and highly experienced trauma and orthopaedics nurse and because she worked in both Redditch and Worcester, I always enjoyed chatting to her while on-site and I know she will be sadly missed."

Mrs Omar, 52, had been working as a sister on Ward 14 at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, and had also worked at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in the past.

Keith Jones died on March 31 at Worcestershire Royal Hospital from the virus at the age of 78. His daughter-in-law Heather Jones said: “We were shocked to lose him as he was a strong bloke. He was clever and would do anything for anyone.

“The difficult part was not being at his bedside when he passed.”