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'It is terrifying thinking about how we are going to cope', doctor says as hospitals battle coronavirus

A doctor at a London hospital has described the trauma of witnessing a consultant breaking down in tears due to the pressure on the NHS caused by coronavirus.

Dr Kiran Rahim says it is "terrifying" to think how hospitals will be able to cope when the peak of the coronavirus comes in a few weeks.

“It’s made me sad to see so many of my consultants - and one in particular, she is the type of doctor I want to be when I come out out of my training," Dr Rahim says.

"She is an A&E consultant but I saw her breakdown today, and I totally get it, because it is terrifying thinking about how we are going to cope and who we are going to say no to eventually."

Deaths in the UK have passed the 1,000 mark, with London the region worst-affected by Covid-19.

A further 260 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, all between the ages of 33 and 100 years old, NHS England has said.

All the patients, bar 13, had underlying health conditions.

"It is really overwhelming watching people that you work with breakdown over deaths," continued Dr Rahim.

"It is overwhelming as a doctor when you’ve taken an oath to do your best that you’re going to have to take really awful decisions, like who is going to live and who isn’t."

There are fears that not everyone has heeded the warnings to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus, potentially leading to a worsening situation.

"I feel like there is death in the air, you can feel it, you can see it in people’s faces and watching my consultant breakdown. It was just a sad reality that this is going to be life for the next three weeks or more, probably the next two months.

"People need to think about their actions and how it impacts everyone else."

Dr Rahim says she has seen the bodies of the deceased covered on trollies leaving Intensive Care Units, with doctors in the department only being able to tell the relatives over the phone of the death, due to social distancing and isolation rules.

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