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Welsh consultant describes 'incredibly worrying' scenes of treating critically ill young Covid-19 patients

Dr Nerys Conway speaking to ITV's Wales at Six Credit: ITV Wales

A leading consultant in Rhondda Cynon Taf has told ITV News it is "incredibly worrying" to see the number of young patients being treated for coronavirus.

Dr Nerys Conway, Clinical Lead & Consultant at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital said there has been a surge in admissions, with many patients in their thirties, forties and fifties.

"They have no medical problems they are fit and well. They barely see their GP, and it is very worrying times", she said.

When asked why she think she is treating so many young people, Dr Conway told ITV News her concern is that people are not following social distancing guidelines as they should.

"We take our health for granted especially when we're young", Dr Conway said.

"Previously we thought this was just a virus that affects the vulnerable and elderly, but it's not. I am seeing people my age that are going to critical care and that is incredibly worrying."

Cwm Taf health board currently has 210 confirmed cases of Covid-19

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board currently has 210 confirmed cases of coronavirus - but Public Health Wales said the true number across Wales is likely to be higher.

Dr Conway's comments echo that of another intensive care consultant in Newport who told ITV News she is seeing "very sick" and "very young" patients in their twenties and thirties.

Dr Ami Jones, from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said, "We are very very busy. This whole hospital is busy.

"We have already surged beyond our standard capacity. It's not just the vulnerable and elderly that are getting poorly. My unit is full of 20, 30 and 40-year-olds."

On the challenges facing doctors and nurses working on the frontline, Dr Conway said she has had some of the most difficult conversations she has "ever had" with patients and families in the last week.

The conversations I've had to have with families with loved ones in critical care will be with me forever.

– Dr Nerys Conway

"Having to speak to the family of someone in critical care over the phone goes against everything you're taught in medical school", she added.

"When patients are coming in I'm treating them as if they're my own family looking after them to the best of my ability."

Dr Conway said it was Credit: PA

Dr Conway urged the public to stay at home to do their bit to help those working on the frontline of the NHS.

"Everyone is saying that we're the heroes in the NHS, but actually we can all be heroes.

"You can be a hero just by being sat at home and that's the message I really want to express is please stay at home, think twice before leaving your house be a hero - be a part of this with us."

Dr Conway said they have seen "tremendous support" from organisations and businesses such as the Royal Mint, who has been producing visors for NHS staff working on the frontline.

Watch the full interview with Jonathan Hill and Dr Conway below: