Doctors are seeing a higher number of younger people seriously ill with coronavirus, compared to the first wave.
In Croydon University Hospital, almost half the beds are occupied by people with Covid and patients as young as 30 with no underlying health conditions are not making it out of intensive care, as reported on a BBC News feature on Monday, January 11.
During the time of filming there were two patients in their 30s in intensive care with coronavirus in the hospital.
Dr Steven Vidgeon, lead intensive care consultant at the hospital, said he has seen several people aged 30-40 die with coronavirus at the hospital.
Speaking to BBC News he said: “For someone who says ‘it’s a myth’ or ‘it won’t affect me’ then come and see the 30 and 40 year olds in intensive care, with no guarantees that we are going to be able to get them out.
“That is the bottom line of how serious it is.”
Dr Vidgeon confirmed that patients in that age group have died from Covid.
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Alex Afanasjev 32, suffered heart complications after becoming infected, despite being a regular gym-goer and sports player.
Medics say the virus is a “multisystem disease” and can cause “inflammation in all parts of the body”
Mr Afanasjev said he was “lucky to be alive” and added: “My chest just felt like it was getting squeezed very very hard.
“I was very surprised that [Covid] can do so much damage – I could never think of Covid being that dangerous.
“I am quite a healthy young man, quite active, play a lot of sports and go to the gym so I was actually quite shocked.”
There were 13,000 more patients with Covid in hospitals on Monday (January, 11) compared to Christmas day, bringing the total to just over 32,0000 in England.
Medics are saying they have never know the NHS to be so stretched and staff are fatigued and worried about what the upcoming days and weeks hold.
Dr Yogini Raste, consultant at the hospital told the BBC: “When we came out of the first wave, I don’t think any of use thought that we could do this again.
“And yet we are doing this again, It feels the pressure is more sustained and I do think the patient numbers are greater and I think we are in for the long haul.”
Cassandra George, deputy sister in intensive care, added: “I don’t know how much more we can do before it gets to literally there’s no more rooms, no more beds, there’s no more nurses, there’s no more spaces, no more anything, so yeah I am quite apprehensive.”
One patient featured in the report was 42-year-old Hanifa Nabagwanya.
Filmed struggling to breathe, she said she tested positive a week ago before her condition got worse and she was sent to hospital in an ambulance.
“I felt I was dying,” she said.
“I have been healthy, have no illness – nothing
“But Covid has struck me down just like that.”
She told the public to take coronavirus precautions seriously and added: “Covid is a killer, Covid is real, please out there be careful.”