England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, was spotted working on Covid wards during the Christmas weekend, it has been revealed.
The consultant physician at University College London Hospitals Trust turned up for shifts on the north London hospital’s respiratory ward as the capital was swamped with new cases.
The UK recorded 50,023 new Covid-19 infections and a further 981 deaths in the latest 24-hour period, with a new strain running ragged in the capital.
Ambulances with Covid-19 patients were seen queueing outside hospitals, with footage on social media showing vehicles lined up outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and Queen’s Hospital in Romford, both in east London, on Tuesday.
Prof Whitty, who became chief medical officer in 2018, has become a household name after rising to prominence during the coronavirus crisis and appearing at numerous Downing Street briefings.
In November, he told a press conference at No 10 that he would be “on the wards” at Christmas and urged the public “to have sense” as the national lockdown neared its end.