Coronavirus: London children’s hospital consultant says wards are NOT full of youngsters with Covid


‘Simply untrue’: London children’s hospital consultant blasts ‘irresponsible’ nurse who gave BBC radio interview claiming her hospital has ‘a whole ward of children’ with coronavirus

  • Paediatrician Dr Ronny Cheung blasted ‘lies’ around children with Covid-19
  • He said there were not ‘wards’ filled with children suffering from coronavirus
  • A matron at a London hospital claimed she was seeing ‘whole wards’ of children 

A London children’s hospital consultant has said wards are not full of youngsters with coronavirus – despite a matron telling the BBC her hospital has ‘a whole ward of children’ with the disease.

Paediatrician Dr Ronny Cheung took to social media to blast the matron’s claims during an interview with Adrian Chiles on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Laura Duffel told the BBC: ‘It was minimally affecting children in the first wave but we have a whole ward of children here and I know some of my colleagues are in the same situation with whole wards of children with Covid.’

In a Twitter thread Dr Cheung, a consultant at a London children’s hospital, said Ms Duffel’s comments were ‘irresponsible in the extreme’.

It comes as a report from Imperial College London warned the mutated super-infectious coronavirus strain was spreading quickly among children, but young people are not thought to be suffering from more severe symptoms.

Paediatrician Dr Ronny Cheung (pictured) took to social media to blast the matron’s claims during an interview with Adrian Chiles on BBC Radio 5 Live

Laura Duffel (pictured) had said: ‘It was minimally affecting children in the first wave but we have a whole ward of children here and I know some of my colleagues are in the same situation with whole wards of children with Covid’

He wrote: ‘I’ve been the on call consultant in a london children’s hospital this week – this is simply not true, and irresponsible in the extreme – frightens parents, fuels covid-deniers. Covid is rife in hospitals, but not among children. We have enough to deal with without this garbage.’

He later claimed he was not accusing the nurse of lying, but that it was ‘very important it is not misconstrued for worried parents’, adding children were getting coronavirus, they just weren’t ‘being admitted in great swathes’.

‘I’m also not saying children do not get covid, nor that the new strain may not be more easily spread (we don’t know for sure yet). But they are not all getting seriously ill and being admitted in great swathes, and that is corroborated by my colleagues across London,’ he added.

In a Twitter thread Dr Cheung, a consultant at a London children's hospital, said he was not aware of 'whole wards' of children with coronavirus

In a Twitter thread Dr Cheung, a consultant at a London children’s hospital, said he was not aware of ‘whole wards’ of children with coronavirus

He later claimed he was not accusing the nurse of lying, but that it was 'very important it is not misconstrued for worried parents', adding children were getting coronavirus, they just weren't 'being admitted in great swathes'

He later claimed he was not accusing the nurse of lying, but that it was ‘very important it is not misconstrued for worried parents’, adding children were getting coronavirus, they just weren’t ‘being admitted in great swathes’ 

Ms Duffel – a vocal campaigner for nurses who previously appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about paying £1,440 to park outside her place of work – defended herself against backlash online, as others accused her of lying about having a ward filled with children with coronavirus.

She wrote: ‘I’m not trying to scare people. But people should know that this wave is not isolated to the older generation. If I save a single life through making people think twice before mixing with others surely it is worth sharing what we are dealing with day in day out in hospitals.’ 

It comes after the report from Imperial College London warned the mutated super-infectious coronavirus strain was spreading quickly during the November lockdown and only closing schools can keep it contained. 

Ms Duffel defended herself against backlash online, as others accused her of lying about having a ward filled with children with coronavirus

Ms Duffel defended herself against backlash online, as others accused her of lying about having a ward filled with children with coronavirus

The study confirmed the variant of SARS-CoV-2 – known as B117 or ‘Variant of Concern’ (VOC) – is more infectious than previous variants, just as scientists feared, and that the November lockdown did little to suppress it.  

The variant was most prevalent among the 10-19 age group, the data shows, with more coronavirus cases in the age group being found to be the new strain than of the original.  

In order the tackle the spread of the VOC in Britain, ‘Social distancing measures will need to be more stringent than they would have otherwise,’ the report said.

‘A particular concern is whether it will be possible to maintain control over transmission while allowing schools to reopen in January 2021.’ 

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