Coronavirus: Half of A&E staff at one hospital test positive for Covid-19, says doctor

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NEWPORT, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: A general view of the Royal Gwent Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Newport, United Kingdom. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 25,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Half of A&E staff at Royal Gwent Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus, a consultant has claimed. (Picture: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Around half of A&E staff at a hospital in Wales have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a consultant.

Dr Tim Rogerson said 50% of the consultants and nurses at the Royal Gwent Hospital’s accident and emergency department — including himself — have tested positive for Covid-19.

The doctor revealed the statistics in a video shared by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which has the highest number of cases in Wales and one of the worst in the UK.

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Dr Rogerson, who has had been off work since experiencing “mild to moderate” coronavirus symptoms, said: “We’re probably up to around 50% of the consultant workforce at the Gwent in A&E who have swabbed positive for the coronavirus and a similar percent in our nursing team.”

The consultant, whose son has also tested positive for the virus, added: “This has obviously happened despite all of the PPE that we’ve got and all the hand washing that we’re doing but it’s probably just a likely thing that’s going to happen when we’re faced with such numbers of patients coming in with coronavirus.”

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He said: “It’s probably inevitable and it is proving a challenge when it’s coming to staffing the department when we are facing these numbers coming through.”

“All staff on the various frontlines are putting themselves into harm’s way when we’re dealing with patients who have coronavirus symptoms.”

Dr Rogerson repeated pleas for members of the public to continue with social distancing, saying breaching the guidelines now would hit the hospital’s intensive care unit capacity in “two weeks’ time”.

“Although it’s difficult, we really do want people to abide by the guidance, to stay at home and protect the NHS,” he said.

The Aneurin Bevan Health Board includes Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen, where 1,453 people have tested positive for Covid-19 – the biggest in Wales and one of the highest areas in the UK.

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