A junior doctor has described feeling “disgusted” and “heartbroken” after filming a crowd of maskless anti-lockdown protesters gathered outside one of London’s busiest hospitals as the NHS struggles to cope with soaring Covid-19 infections.
Matthew Lee, a junior doctor at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, shared the shocking clip to Twitter at midnight on January 1, which shows dozens of people crowded together, some of them dancing, directly in front of the hospital.
Alongside the clip, which has now been viewed more than four million times, Lee wrote: “Worked the late A&E SHO (senior house officer) shift on NYE and came out to this.
“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?”
In a following tweet, Lee said he had been left “disgusted but mostly heartbroken” at the sight of the crowd outside the hospital in violation of strict tier 4 Covid restrictions.
He added: “I wish people could see the amount of Covid-19 and death 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.”
Doctors and frontline NHS staff in London and across the South East have reported horrific conditions inside hospitals over the past week as Covid-19 infections soar alongside the usual pressures associated with winter.
Healthcare workers recently told HuffPost UK how hospitals had been left “bursting at the seams” with “nowhere to put patients” as increasing numbers of people arrive with severe Covid symptoms.
The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals is at record levels in many areas of England – including London, the South West and the Midlands – with admissions rising above the levels seen during the first wave.
A new record for the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in a single day was set on Saturday, with 57,725 lab-confirmed infections recorded as of 9am.
A further 445 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 74,570.