Intensive care doctor urges people to obey the rules as up to half of her hospital patients have Covid

An intensive care doctor is urging people to obey the rules in order to stop the Welsh NHS being "completely overwhelmed".

Dr Ami Jones, who works at Neville Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, said between a quarter and a half of patients at her hospital have coronavirus.

She added that "it only takes a few people to let us down" and cause a bounce in the number of cases, which could lead to hospitals struggling to cope.

In response to rising coronavirus cases across the country, stricter rules - like 10:20pm closures for licensed premises - have been introduced nationally. Specific regions and areas where there have been spikes in the virus have also gone into local lockdown.

Speaking to ITV Wales, Dr Jones said the increase in cases has begun to "trickle into" the hospital and now into intensive care where she works.

Admittedly, they are not dealing with the same amount of Covid-19 patients as they were during the peak back in March and April, but Dr Jones said they are "probably up to capacity".

"The difference is this time that we have got all the normal kind of unwell patients...probably a quarter to a half of it is Covid and the rest of it is normal medical patients," she said.

Dr Ami Jones said currently about a quarter to a half of patients at Neville Hall Hospital where she works, have coronavirus. Credit: ITV Wales

The coronavirus patients Dr Jones is encountering on the wards are not just elderly and vulnerable either. She emphasised how important it is for everyone to follow the rules because the people she sees "in intensive care are young, pretty fit patients".

She is concerned that if hospital cases surge and they go over capacity, "it will be very difficult" and would knock the hospital back.

"It only takes a few people to let us down", she reminded.

"Whatever you can do to obey the rules and help us just get through this can be the difference between NHS getting completely overwhelmed and us actually being able to cope and get back to normal life."

We are "at a crossroads" according to Dr Jones, "if we can do what Caerphilly have done and clamp down...hopefully the numbers will drop".

She added that we are better "going hard and locking down sooner than waiting, like we did back at the start in March".

Around two million people living in Wales are now living under local lockdown in response to rising coronavirus cases.

Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen are the latest areas to have stricter rules come into force.