'This is not a game': Doctor's warning to 'selfish' Britons spreading virus by refusing to stay at home

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger

It was first thought Covid-19 only affected the old and weak, now we know that is not a fact.

A doctor has shared a warning to all that coronavirus is not to be underestimated, regardless of your age.

"This is not a game," warned Dr Ron Daniels, an Intensive Care Consultant from the West Midlands.

The effect of the virus is being felt by people of all ages.

Tara Langston, a previously healthy 39-year-old, released a video last week from her hospital bed where she was being treated for the virus. Piped into wires and machines, the only way she could breathe was with the help of oxygen.

Through violent coughing fits, she said: "If anyone is thinking of taking any chances, just take a look at me. I'm in the Intensive Care Unit, I can't breathe without this."

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

The keen gym-goer was treated in the capital, where some hospitals are already under pressure.

She is now in recovery and told ITV News how staff are becoming increasingly stretched.

"They are on the front line, risking their lives for people like me and others who are getting sick; working really long hours, sweating, the masks they have to wear"

But this is the calm before the storm, officials say.

When the pandemic will arrive in full force, is hard to predict, but the NHS experts it's a matter of days, not weeks.

It is only a matter of days until all UK hospitals after as busy as those in London, says Dr Ron Daniels. Credit: ITV News

Outside the M25, doctors are readying themselves for the worst.

"We've got a few cases where patients are critically ill, but we can cope. Make no bones about it, within just a few days every hospital in the country will be as busy as those in London," Dr Ron Daniels told ITV News.

"This is not a game. This is a real and immediate threat to society and to the people we love. It's already affecting your lives, if you don't engage with the need for social distancing then it's going to hit you longer and harder than you might imagine."

But despite that advice, people are not taking heed. This weekend saw scenes in locations across the country which brought anger and frustration for many, with parks and tourist destinations packed with visitors.

The advice is clear: stay at home and protect those you love and the NHS