People are outraged after pictures emerged of several people using a stepladder to scale the walls of a closed park in defiance of the UK’s lockdown rules.
What made it worse was the fact that the park was situated next to one of Britain’s most overwhelmed coronavirus hospitals.
The pictures were taken at Belle Vue Park, Newport, scant yards from where doctors and nurses were battling to save lives at the Royal Gwent Hospital. The hospital houses the highest number of COVID-19 infections outside of London.
So far, there have been nearly 30,000 confirmed cases with 2,392 deaths, figures that are only expected to rise.
A careworker named Janet Watkin took pictures of the violators from her home which sits opposite the park.
She said: “Two used the ladder to climb over the wall.
“One left with the ladder about ten minutes later then came back and was helped back over.
“I was incredulous. I can’t believe people are risking the lives of others.
“They must think they’re immune. This is why this virus could go on and on.”
The following day, another group of people broke into the park. They had skateboards and even shared a single bottle of water.
The Royal Gwent, the largest hospital within the Aneurin Bevan Health Board area, has 590 confirmed cases of coronavirus within its walls.
One of those cases is intensive care consultant Dr. David Hepburn who said he caught the virus from one colleague at the Royal Gwent.
He said: “At the moment my team at the Intensive Care Unit are looking after a lot of patients who are critically unwell with coronavirus.
“Some of them are younger than I am and they are certainly not the frail, elderly people that maybe some of us have been led to believe we would be seeing.
“They are young, they are fit and they have young families.”
Dr. Hepburn echoed the call for the public to isolate themselves.
He added: “Please, please listen to the advice that’s going around at the minute.
“This is a small sacrifice for a short period of time and then life will get back to normal again but we have to protect everybody and we have to protect the NHS.”
Dr. Hepburn, who has been at the frontlines fighting the virus, warned just “how sick this can make you.”
He said: “I’d like to tell you that I got coronavirus from heroically looking after some of these patients but actually the reality is much more mundane.
“I think I probably caught this from contact with colleagues at work or possibly somebody out in the street before any of the coronavirus patients arrived on the intensive care unit.
“It started off very innocuously. I had a burning sensation in my nose, I lost my sense of taste, I never had a cough and then I’ve had a week of feeling absolutely terrible.
“Aching muscles, aching bones and unable to get out of bed – sleeping between 16 and 18 hours a day.
“I’m on the mend now thankfully, I hope but I can’t emphasize to you how sick this can make you.”