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Coronavirus: Hospital staff are 'beyond angels', says ill DUP councillor

Graham Warke

A DUP councillor who was treated at Altnagelvin hospital in Londonderry for suspected Covid-19 has paid tribute to the medical staff who cared for him.

Graham Warke was discharged from Ward 31 - Altnagelvin's designated ward for coronavirus patients after a test result showed he did not have the virus - despite contracting pneumonia and chronic bronchitis days earlier.

He remains unwell, but is now recovering at the home of his mother where he paid tribute to the nurses who cared for him - describing them as "beyond angels".

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Warke said: "I have never been so relieved as when the nurse came into Ward 31 on Thursday night to tell me my test for Covid-19 was negative and that I could go home immediately.

"I am recovering from pneumonia and it is going to take me quite some time to get back on my feet, but I wanted to thank the staff at Altnagelvin hospital for the care they gave me and urge people to pay attention to the rules of social distancing and staying at home.

"I witnessed at first hand the extreme pressure the nurses and doctors are under - you wouldn't believe how tough things are for them and yet they continue to come to work to care for people who are suspect or who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

"They are beyond angels but they are so scared, they can't even go home to their families because they need to keep their families safe and they are putting their lives on the line every single day."

Mr Warke said people need to adhere strictly to the coronavirus controls.

He added: "Too many people still don't realise how serious this virus is, but everyone needs to do what they are being asked to do, because it is not just their own life they could save, it is the lives of the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers - everyone who is working so hard in our hospitals.

"Stay at home, watch television, read a book - it's not a hard thing you are being asked to do, but it could mean the difference between life and death for the people working so hard in the hospitals."

Belfast Telegraph