A top Zimbabwean medical scientist based in London, Dr Paul Matewele has died.

Dr Matewele passed on after a battle with a Coronavirus infection, his employers said in a statement.

Described as a “gentle giant,” Dr Paul Matewele who was a senior lecturer in microbiology immunology at London Metropolitan University, died at Barnet Hospital in London.

He had published several studies on the dangers of life-threatening bacteria being passed through cash and public transport.

He has been praised as “a larger than life character, very funny and kind.”

Dr Una Fairbrother, Head of the School of Human Sciences, said: ‘Paul was a very special colleague.

‘He was an exceptionally kind and happy character with an unequalled passion for cakes, he shared his teddy bear hugs amongst all who wanted them.

‘Uniquely, he managed to combine being a dynamic researcher, a smashing teacher and being enormously laid back and unflappable. He was generous with his time and with his smile.

‘He will be enormously missed by our staff and students. Our thoughts are especially with his close friends and family, including his son, William.’

His colleague Prof Gary McLean told BBC: ‘Paul was the most gentle soul. [He] always had a huge smile.