The sister of a nurse who died after contracting Covid-19 has paid tribute to her "rare" and "amazing" sibling.

Areema Nasreen, 36, died in the early hours of Friday at Walsall Manor Hospital, the place where she had worked throughout her career.

The mother-of-three was the first in her family to graduate, according to her sister Ms Nasreen, who in a tribute to Ms Nasreen said "we've lost an amazing person".

Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on the BBC News Channel on Monday, Mrs Afzal, 33, said her sister had developed a passion caring for others as a little girl, looking after her nan.

She said: "She was just a rare girl.

"We've lost an amazing nurse, but also we've lost an amazing person in life," she added.

Mrs Afzal, who is a healthcare assistant (HCA) at the same hospital, said Ms Nasreen became ill after first complaining of leg ache, and started running a temperature.

Her symptoms worsened and she eventually needed admission to hospital.

Mrs Afzal said: "I spent five hours with her before she went on a ventilator.

"We just sat and talked, she looked at me, said 'sit down, I want to see you'."

Her sister fell ill soon after finishing a 12-hour shift - choosing to go in and help out colleagues, when she was supposed to be on annual leave.

Mrs Afzal said: "She woke me up and said 'we're really short, come on bank (shift) - because I'm a healthcare assistant at the Manor Hospital - so I went and did the shift with her.

"But when I saw her, I said 'you don't look good' she said 'I know but we're very short we need (staff) - let's do this shift together, we'll go home together'.

"I'd been checking her temperature while she was at work and it was going higher and higher.

"She never thought anything of it either because it was just totally different.

"We ate together and then she handed over with the night staff."

Mrs Afzal said: "That was the last handover."

Ms Nasreen first started working as a housekeeper at the Walsall hospital, and also got jobs there for her two younger sisters.

Later, she became a healthcare assistant, but had dreams of being a nurse, Mrs Afzal said.

She added: "Areema just said 'I want to do it, but there's no one in our entire family whose graduated' - she was quite worried."

But her parents, husband and sisters all said "if you want to do it, do it", she added.

"She said 'look I'm married now, I've got kids', but my sisters are willing to help me," said Mrs Afzal.

"Then she went into nursing."

Mrs Afzal also thanked Walsall hospital for "believing" in her sister.

Because of social-distancing restrictions brought in through lockdown, only a few immediate family were allowed to attend Ms Nasreen's funeral on Friday.

Mrs Afzal said: "I said to my mom, when all this is over, if you want to think about your daughter just go past her ward, the memories are alive there."

Another relative, Dr Samara Afzal, told the programme Nasreen had been a "role model".

She said: "She was balanced with her family and a fantastic role model to Asian women, because very rarely do you see someone whose got a family, three children to look after, but still going out working 12-hour shifts as a nurse and that's quite rare in the South Asian community.

"I want her to be remembered as a fantastic role model."

Tributes have also poured in from the public since Friday, with Ms Nasreen's Twitter page now an online memorial to those whose lives she touched.

One tribute read "what a loss for the country", while another said: "A true hero."

The messages were in reply to a post Ms Nasreen made, almost a year ago this month, after her graduation, showing her pictured in cap and gown, she wrote: "Countless people, one who was me, struggle to believe that they have the right to dream.

"But please follow through, and yes with commitment compassion support dreams do come true."

By Richard Vernalls