A&E doctor is ‘heartbroken’ to find maskless crowd ‘chanting ‘Covid is a hoax” outside St Thomas’s Hospital after he finished New Year’s Eve shift in crisis-hit NHS
- Matthew Lee was ‘disgusted’ after a crowd gathered outside St Thomas’ Hospital
- Dr Lee, from Hong Kong, filmed group after he finished shift in A&E department
- He claimed some of the people in the group were Covid-19 conspiracy theorists
- Questioned why some Britons still don’t ‘realise the seriousness of pandemic’
A junior A&E doctor was left ‘heartbroken’ after being met with a huge crowd of maskless revellers after his New Year’s Eve shift in London.
Dr Matthew Lee was ‘disgusted’ after a crowd – some chanting ‘Covid is a hoax’ – gathered outside St Thomas’ Hospital – where tireless doctors battled to save Boris Johnson’s life after he contracted Covid earlier this year.
Dr Lee, from Hong Kong, filmed the group after he finished his senior house officer (SHO) shift in the A&E department.
He claimed some of the people were Covid-19 conspiracy theorists as he questioned why many Britons still don’t ‘realise the seriousness of this pandemic’.
Footage of the crowd emerged as a further 53,285 people in Britain were diagnosed with Covid-19 – marking four days in a row that there have been more than 50,000 positive tests announced.
The crisis-hit NHS is gripped by panic in London amid spiralling numbers – with one doctor warning she and her colleagues are already having to make tough choices about which patients should get ventilators.
Dr Lee shared the clip to Twitter with the caption: ‘Worked the late A&E SHO shift on New Year’s Eve and came out to this.
A junior A&E doctor was left ‘heartbroken’ after being met with a huge crowd of maskless revellers chanting ‘Covid is a hoax’ after his New Year’s Eve shift in London
Dr Lee, from Hong Kong, filmed the group (pictured) after he finished his senior house officer (SHO) shift in the A&E department
‘Hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge groups shouting “Covid is a hoax”, literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying.
‘Why do people still not realise the seriousness of this pandemic?’
He later added: ‘I’m disgusted but mostly heartbroken. I wish people could see the amount of Covid-19 [cases] and deaths in hospitals, and the sacrifices that healthcare workers make.
‘This week alone has been so tough. Their ignorance is hurting others. I really wish people would keep themselves safe.’
His footage sparked outrage online, with countless Britons rushing to condemn Covid conspiracy theorists.
Piers Morgan shared Dr Lee’s clip, writing: ‘This is so disgusting. These morons shame Britain.’
Footage of the crowd (pictured) emerged as a further 53,285 people in Britain were diagnosed with Covid-19 – marking four days in a row that there have been more than 50,000 positive tests announced
Dr Lee shared the clip to Twitter with the caption: ‘Worked the late A&E SHO shift on New Year’s Eve and came out to this’
Mr Johnson spoke from self isolation on April 3 – just days before he was taken to hospital with Covid (left). He then released a video message from inside no 10, after he was discharged (right)
He later added: ‘Still seething about this. If it’s a hoax, let’s take all these imbeciles inside the Covid ward without PPE.
‘See how brave they feel when confronted with the reality of people choking to death.’
Paediatric doctor Sarah Hallett wrote: ‘And yet ironically, despite how angry and despairing this makes us as NHS staff, if any single one of them needed our help (perhaps intubation and ventilation for example), we would do it in a heartbeat.’
Another added: ‘I’d love to drag them around the hospital, going from ward to ward showing them the devastation Covid is causing.
His footage sparked outrage online, with countless Britons rushing to condemn Covid conspiracy theorists
‘Maybe end the tour with a quick visit to the Morgue. Absolute fools.’
The UK’s daily case count has surged 63 per cent in a week, from 32,275 last Friday, meaning a staggering 253,720 people have received positive test results since Monday this week.
And 613 more people have died with the virus – including an eight-year-old child – taking the total official death toll to 74,125. The eight-year-old died in England on December 30 and had other health problems, the NHS said.
Department of Health records show there were 23,823 people in hospital with the virus by December 28, the most recent update.
Medics transport a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance to the Royal London Hospital today
The count of fatalities has been erratic this week in the wake of a string of bank holidays, during which hospitals don’t record them as reliably. Death records were lower than usual over the long Christmas weekend, dropping to 230 deaths on Boxing Day, then higher than expected mid-week, rising to 981 on Wednesday, December 30. The week-long average is 554 deaths per day.
Coronavirus infections have surged over the Christmas holiday with the toughest lockdown measures for most of the country held off until Boxing Day or even later, allowing thousands of families to mix on December 25.
Cases are being driven up by the new super-infectious variant of coronavirus which emerged in the South East but has since spread nationwide.
And with London, Kent and Essex now at the epicentre of England’s second wave – two thirds of today’s cases (33,573) were from those three regions alone – pressure is piling onto hospitals in the area with some declaring they are already in ‘disaster mode’ even coping with admissions from a week or two ago when cases were lower.
London has once again become the centre of England’s crisis, with 15,089 of the cases confirmed today diagnosed in the capital city and hospitals there reporting that their wards are bursting at the seams.
Second worst affected was the South East, where a further 10,844 cases were confirmed today, followed by the East of England with 7,640.
These regions are the ones where the new variant, which may be 56 per cent more infectious and so fast-spreading that normal lockdown measures don’t work, emerged and where it now makes up a majority of infections.
Infections are significantly lower in the other regions, where the new variant does not appear to have got such a successful foothold, potentially because they were already in lockdown when it emerged.
Medics are pictured collecting a patient from an ambulance at the Royal London Hospital this morning, January 1
For the North West there were 5,164 cases announced today, along with 3,079 in the East Midlands, 2,860 in the West Midlands, 2,175 in Yorkshire and the Humber, 2,104 in the South West and 1,340 in the North East.
There are no signs so far that the UK’s second wave is slowing down or likely to come to an end soon.
Although the numbers of infections and hospital admissions fell during November’s national lockdown, they surged upwards again when the restrictions were lifted.
The tier system appears to have worked in the North of England, which was at the heart of the outbreak during the autumn, but it came too late to the South East, East and London, where cases surged out of control over Christmas.
Widespread rules were brought in only this week, with Tier 4 imposed on a total of 44million people by Wednesday, December 30, and the rest of the country in Tier 3 except for the remote Isles of Scilly.
It will now take two or three weeks for those measures to come into effect and – if they work – bring down transmission of the virus.
But even if the lockdown rules work and bring infection rates down, hospitals will still have to cope with the aftermath of people who have already caught Covid-19, who can take two to three weeks to be hospitalised.
One doctor in London has warned that coronavirus patients on NHS intensive care wards are already in ‘competition’ for ventilators to keep them alive.
Dr Megan Smith, from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust in the capital, said medics are facing ‘horrifying’ decisions as they have to choose which patients get access to lifesaving treatment for Covid-19 and which don’t.
And she warned that an expected surge in patients triggered by people mixing with family and friends over Christmas hasn’t even started yet, with the situation expected to get worse later this month and in February.
It comes as official NHS figures show that intensive care wards across the country are struggling more this winter even though an average 743 extra beds per day have been made available to try and cope with Covid patients.
NHS England data shows that, in the last week of December, there were 743 more intensive care beds available than in the same week of 2019 – 4,394 compared to 3,651.
But in the same week there were, on average, 828 more patients in critical care – 3,340 compared to 2,512 in the December 2019 – suggesting the strain of Covid-19 is bigger than hospitals had prepared for.Many of the extra beds are in London – 253 of them – but even this hasn’t been enough to stave off the surge in coronavirus patients.
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