A woman currently in hospital with suspected coronavirus has urged the public not to panic buy and to stay at home to avoid spreading the disease further.

Delia Colwill, from Berkshire, was taken into hospital on Tuesday, six days after she first began showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

The 47-year-old suffers from a spinal cord injury that affects her nervous system and has chronic pain. She said the virus has "absolutely knocked me sideways".

She has been repeatedly tested for the virus and received mixed results with one positive and one negative.

I'm not sure what to believe. I've suddenly been moved to a general ward with very vulnerable patients and I have no mask, nothing and I still have a virus. I'm not sure what to make of the testing and the situation honestly because I've had five doctors say it's Covid-19, one confirmed test positive and now a negative.

Delia Colwill
Delia Colwill

She has pleaded with members of the public to avoid stockpiling medicine, including paracetamol, and to avoid social contact.

I am appealing to anyone who is still not adhering to the social distancing and people who are hoarding and people who are acting fearfully," she said. There is a reason for these policies and they are to protect those that are vulnerable. While that might not be you, it will be someone close to you, or someone that you know. I just wanted to show you what the virus looks like.

Delia Colwill

Her symptoms have varied, from "horrific head pain and sinus pain that feels like my brain is exploding out of my skull" to blackout headaches and intense sweats. She has also suffered from a loss of appetite and sense of taste.>She has now been in the hospital for five days and said staff looking after her are exhausted by the influx of new patients.

But I can see the staff are tiring. It is getting busy. The pressure is mounting. The need for beds is pressing on me and has done for the last two days. The doctor wants me to walk to the toilet ASAP so I can be discharged as she is stressed about keeping things moving and turning beds around as fast as she can. I can totally understand.

Delia Colwill

However, she said she is struggling to feel better, continuing to feel "weak beyond exhaustion".>But she praised the NHS staff looking after her, adding:

They have been absolutely amazing and looked after me so well - and they are dealing with so much and as prepared as they can be for the coming weeks. So I take a lot of comfort in seeing things first-hand here.

Delia Colwill