Teacher 'dies of coronavirus' after collapsing in front of students on Zoom call

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Teacher 'dies of coronavirus' after collapsing in front of students on Zoom call

A teacher died of suspected coronavirus after struggling to breathe and then collapsing during a Zoom lecture in front of her students.

Paola De Simone, 46, was a professor at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) in Buenos Aires.

During the lesson on Zoom on Wednesday, she told her students she was not feeling very well and had difficulty breathing, Diari Mes reports.

Some of her students reportedly asked her for her home address so they could call an ambulance, but the professor only managed to say “I can’t” before collapsing, according to Pagina 12.

Days before dying, the teacher had expressed concerns about her health, saying had suffered from coronavirus symptoms that had not disappeared for more than a month, according to La Noticia.

Student Ana Breccia said: “My classmates and I in class yesterday [on Wednesday] were the last ones she spoke to.

“She began by saying that she had pneumonia, we saw it was worse than in previous classes.

“At one point she could not continue passing slides, nor speak and she became unbalanced.”

A video of the professor collapsing was circulated on social media. 

She had continued to work despite suffering from a persistent cough, an academic coordinator from the university said in a statement. 

According to the local newspaper Clarín, Mrs De Simone was married to a doctor and they had a daughter.

The professor had previously said her husband had been very busy with his work during the pandemic.

According to local media, the doctor found his wife dead when arrived home.

Friends and colleagues expressed their grief at her passing, including Facundo Cruz, an academic coordinator at UADE.

“Farewell to a friend. We will miss you,” he wrote on Twitter, adding in a statement that she had been teaching with a cough that failed to go away.

A student described her as an “excellent teacher, but above all an excellent person, loved and admired by all her students.”

The student added in the tribute: “Unforgettable teacher, one of those who give you a hand in everything, who make you love what you study, who go out of their way for their students. We are going to miss you a lot.” 

The university where she worked said in a statement: “We regret to report with deep pain the death of Paola Regina De Simone, professor at the Department of Government and International Relations.

“Paola was a passionate and dedicated teacher, and a great person, with more fifteen years of experience at UADE.”

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Argentina, according to the latest data.

So far, 471,806 people have tested positive for the virus in the country and 9,739 have died after contracting Covid-19.

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