“Patients are much sicker; staff are more tired – there’s nothing fake about Covid”.

These are the words of a consultant respiratory physician at Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust who has released a hard-hitting video explaining exactly how Covid-19 is affecting our hospitals.

Dr Mitra Shahidi said more than 50 per cent of the patients they are seeing in hospitals in the county at the moment are there because of Covid-19, adding that hearing people say the virus is a hoax is “demoralising” for staff.

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In a video released by the Trust, Dr Shahidi, in full PPE, said: “Covid is very real. There’s nothing fake about Covid at all. This time is much busier, patients are much sicker and staff are much more tired, so everyone is reaching the ends of their reserve.

“To hear that people think that this is a hoax is so demoralising. We really don’t need that.

We have got hundreds of patients - 50 per cent of our patients are now Covid patients. We are struggling with staff numbers because our staff themselves are going down with Covid, so this is very real.”

Dr Shahidi also addressed Covid-deniers who, according to Trust chief executive Neil MacDonald, turned up at Wycombe Hospital to take photos of the car park and a closed Costa café in a bid to “prove” that the pandemic is fake.

She said: “If we are seeing empty car parks it’s because these people are coming in by ambulance and the normal patients that we would see for outpatient appointments and operations, we cannot see those patients, we don’t have the capacity to see those patients.


“We’ve had to postpone and delay many, many operations; many, many outpatient appointments. This is why our car parks are empty.

“It’s a horrible illness. Many people don’t suffer major problems but the people who end up in hospital are very, very ill. Once they come into hospital, they have a very high mortality.

“It’s desperately sad watching these people fighting for every breath, longing to see their relatives, not sure if they ever will see them again. It’s quite frightening for them and for us watching them."

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She also urged everyone to follow the rules. As of January 14, official figures show that 22,520 cases of coronavirus have been reported since the start of the pandemic. There have been 575 deaths as of January 1.

Dr Shahidi added: “You need to follow the lockdown rules, not bend them. Follow them to the tee. If they are unwell then they need to call NHS 111 - unless it is a real emergency in which case, of course, call 999.”

Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust said in a statement to the Bucks Free Press: “The number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 is continuing to rise. The Trust has put in place some temporary changes to ensure safe and appropriate staffing levels can be maintained and to ensure we have enough beds to meet the rising demand. This includes postponing or delaying non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments.

In line with national government guidelines, we would urge all communities in Buckinghamshire to stay at home and minimise social contact.

“Anyone needing health support can get advice via NHS 111 or the Ask NHS app. In a life-threatening emergency, you should call 999.

“Please be assured we are still here for you and if you are offered an appointment please keep it.”