Senior police officer who survived Covid-19 'very disturbed' by lockdown rule-breakers

10 May 2020, 14:24

Phil Dolby hit out at people who were flouting lockdown rules
Phil Dolby hit out at people who were flouting lockdown rules. Picture: @PhilDolbyWMP

By Asher McShane

A police Chief Superintendent who fought his way back to health after contracting coronavirus has hit out at people who flout the lockdown rules.

West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Phil Dolby, who spent weeks in hospital with Covid-19, falling into a coma, criticised people heading out in the sunshine saying he was “very disturbed” to see the “blase way people are treating the lockdown.”

“With lack of answers around immunity, my family and I are going to remain shielding. I can't go through that again.”

It comes one day after hundreds of people were pictured enjoying sunshine in parks in London in defiance of the government’s rules. Hackney police posted online yesterday: “Sadly we’re fighting a losing battle in the parks today. Literally hundreds of people sitting having pizza, beers, wines. As always a big thank you to those that are observing the guidelines .”

Hundreds of people flocked to London fields in east London where people said they were unable to stop people from drinking and having picnics in the sun.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said on Saturday that there was “concern” after the warm weather drew big crowds to public spaces.

There was further concern today as Boris Johnson’s new “stay alert” messaging was criticised for being unclear.

The Prime Minister has dropped the Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives slogan and replaced it with 5-point advice to Brits which includes instructions to “Stay alert.”

Ahead of a Cobra meeting with Mr Johnson, the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said they had not been consulted over the "stay alert, control the virus and save lives" slogan.

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Opposition politicians and a scientist advising the Government criticised the new message and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the first she had heard of "the PM's new slogan" was in newspaper reports.

"It is of course for him to decide what's most appropriate for England, but given the critical point we are at in tackling the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stage," she tweeted.

Her Welsh counterpart, Mark Drakeford, said the "stay home" message has not changed in Wales and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster also said the nation will continue to use the "stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives" message.