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Funeral for teenager who died with Covid-19 but family must stay away

THE funeral has taken place of a teenager believed to be the first child in the UK to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

The coffin carrying the body of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab was lowered into the ground by four people wearing protective clothing and face masks.

None of his immediate family was able to attend after two of his six siblings began displaying symptoms of the virus.

A ceremony at the Eternal Gardens dedicated Muslim burial ground in Kemnal Park, Chislehurst, south London, was held this afternoon.

Mourners stood apart from one another as they observed social distancing guidelines.

Final journey: Ismail had no apparent underlying health conditions

Ismail, from Brixton, died alone in hospital in the early hours of Monday.

Family friend Mark Stephenson, who set up an appeal on GoFundMe for the family, said Ismail’s younger brother and older sister had developed mild symptoms including a temperature and loss of taste.

He said Ismail’s immediate family were ‘devastated’ at not being able to attend the funeral.

He added: ‘It’s extremely upsetting for everyone involved, but they have been very moved by the warmth and very positive messages of support from people following their appeal.’

Mourners: The teenager’s immediate family have had to self-isolate PICTURES: PA

Ismail, who had no apparent underlying health conditions, was described by his family as a ‘gentle and kind’ boy with a ‘heartwarming’ smile.

He tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday, a day after he was admitted to King’s College Hospital, and he died on Monday at 3am after his lungs failed and he suffered a cardiac arrest.

On Wednesday, the NHS confirmed a 13-year-old with no known underlying health condition was among patients who had died after testing positive for Covid-19.

Mr Stephenson, college director at the Madinah College where Ismail’s sister works, set up the GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral costs and for the family, who also lost Ismail’s father to cancer.

By this morning more than £70,000 had been raised, far exceeding the £4,000 target.