Woman who tested positive for coronavirus dies eight days after giving birth

‘Everyone should know that this lady was a force to be reckoned with, a powerful single mum, with fire in her belly and determination that you would never have seen in anyone,’ says cousin

Kate Ng
Friday 17 April 2020 16:32 BST

A woman has died of coronavirus just eight days after giving birth to her daughter, the second death under similar circumstances to occur on Easter Sunday.

Salina Shaw, 37, had an underlying health condition and was pregnant with her third child when she tested positive for Covid-19.

She gave birth on 7 April but died on Easter Sunday.

Ms Shaw, who was diabetic, owned a childminding business and was from Southend in Essex.

Her partner, Abdul Bangura, told The Sun despite her underlying health condition, she was healthy and lived a vegan lifestyle. She had followed all social distancing guidelines prior to contracting the virus, but still “battled for her life”.

Ms Shaw’s cousin paid tribute to her on Facebook, writing: “On Easter Sunday my cousin Salina was taken from this world far too soon.

“But from this utter sorrow, everyone should know that this lady was a force to be reckoned with, a powerful single mum, with fire in her belly and determination that you would never have seen in anyone.”

She continued: “She adored her own and other children so built a successful childminding business to share her love and wisdom. A true legend!”

A fundraiser set up to help Ms Shaw’s family take care of her three daughters has received over £7,000 in donations, far exceeding its target of £500.

Diane Coull, a friend of the family who started the fundraiser, said the family were “overwhelmed” by the donations.

She wrote: “Salina was a devoted mother and her greatest achievement was her children. If you were lucky enough to know Salina she would have left a BIG impact on your life, her energy, free spirit and kind caring nature, filled with love.

“She will be deeply missed by everyone who knew her,” added Ms Coull.

Ms Shaw’s death comes after a heavily pregnant NHS nurse, Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, also died after contracting Covid-19 on Easter Sunday. Her baby was saved after being delivered by emergency caesarean section.

The tragedy has sparked fresh calls for the government to take further steps to protect pregnant women across the country.

Pregnant Then Screwed, an organisation promoting the rights of working mothers, said more needed to be done to protect black and minority ethnic pregnant women in particular.

The body said in a statement on Twitter: “In the last three days, we have heard about the deeply tragic deaths of two pregnant women – Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong and now, Salina Shaw, both black.

“Pregnant women are classed as vulnerable but there is still little clarity about what this means. We need clarity now. We need to ensure pregnant women are protected and BAME pregnant women must be given enhanced protection during this crisis.

“Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, but our systems do. There are institutional biases within our healthcare system and this disease is exposing them. We already knew that five times as many black women die in childbirth as white women.”

Rosalind Bragg, director of Maternity Action, a national pregnancy charity, told The Independent after Ms Agyapong’s death: “Health and safety protections for pregnant women were very poor before coronavirus but this has brought into sharp relief how difficult it is for women to negotiate safe working environments. We desperately need government action in this area.”

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