Paramedic tells LBC Covid positive patients are refusing masks in ambulances

8 January 2021, 15:22

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

One paramedic tells LBC the frustration he feels when he attends calls to Covid-positive patients and they refuse to wear a mask.

John a paramedic called LBC's Shelagh Fogarty just after London declared a "major incident" due to a surge in Covid cases.

"The worst thing that happened to me in this," the caller said was the fact he gave Covid to his girlfriend.

The frustrated paramedic said just last night he attended a Covid-positive patient, but he could not understand how a bed-bound dementia patient in a care home was "still getting Covid."

EXCLUSIVE: ‘We’re fighting a war’ - London paramedics tell LBC they are struggling to cope

He told LBC when he arrived at the care home one of the staff who escorted him to the Covid-positive patient then "walked straight out" and info the room of someone who was Covid-negative.

Then, amazingly, he revealed to LBC that he attended a call where the patient refused to wear a mask.

"They refused to put a mask on," he told Shelagh, explaining when he tells patients who refuse to wear masks he is going to have to withdraw that they often "become aggressive."

Describing the current situation in the capital as "carnage" the paramedic said he had never seen anything like this before.

Read more: London's Nightingale to open in 'coming days', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

Read more: NHS staff at London hospital speak of exhaustion in rare ward footage

The conversation comes as London's mayor Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" as the spread of coronavirus threatens to "overwhelm" the capital's hospitals.

City Hall said Covid-19 cases in London had exceeded 1,000 per 100,000, while there are 35% more people in hospital with the virus than in the peak of the pandemic in April.

A "major incident" means the "severity of the consequences" associated with it are "likely to constrain or complicate the ability of responders to resource and manage the incident".

Speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan listed the stark and troubling problems facing the city as its coronavirus outbreak spirals "out of control".

In some parts of the capital, Covid-19 infection rates are so bad that one in 20 people have the virus, while London's average rate is one in 30, Mr Khan said.

The mayor also revealed that the London Ambulance Service (LAS) is now receiving between 3,000 and 4,000 more calls every day than it would on a normal busy day.

He confirmed the city's Nightingale hospital will be opened in the "coming days", but he said it will not be used for Covid patients.

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