Professor Hugh Montgomery, who works in the intensive care unit at Whittington Hospital in north London, said people who don't follow Coronavirus rules have "blood on their hands" even if they don't know it.
The emergency care unit doctor expressed his fury as he continued seeing people not wearing face masks or keeping social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic which took 1,806,000 lives and affected millions of people.
While talking to the host of BBC Radio 5 Live on the last day of the extremely difficult year, Montgomery said that it is "horrifying" to see families being affected by COVID-19. He said that he was "angry" because there are many people who still don't bother to take enough precautions to curb the spread of the virus. According to Prof Montgomery, people don't care about following the rules because "selfishness gives people an excuse to carry on".
"Anyone who is listening to this, who doesn't wear their masks and behaves like this ...they have blood on their hands, they are spreading this virus, then other people will spread it and people will die. They won't know they've killed people, but they have," said Prof Montgomery, who is also a professor of intensive care medicine at University College London and technical council for the Intensive Care Society.
To Those Who Are Listening
The healthcare professional said that he has seen families getting wiped out due to COVID-19 and "it has to stop". During the interview, Prof Montgomery explained that emergency departments have seen a tsunami of cases in the last few weeks and the medical experts are working at maximum stretch. "The nursing staff have had to be very stretched, in some areas one nurse sees up to four patients — and the numbers are still rising," he added.
Regarding the new fast-spreading Coronavirus variant which was first identified in the UK, the ICU doctor said it could be prevented following basic rules such as washing hands and keeping a distance from others, as there are no new symptoms.
He said that people are blaming the virus for the current situation, but in reality "it's not the virus, it's people". According to him, people are not following basic rules which will help society to curb the spread of the virus—washing hands, maintaining a two-meter distance, and wearing masks.
It is a "myth" that hospitals are filled with elderly patients, said Prof Montgomery and added that there are many young people too who are suffering due to COVID-19. "The people we are getting are indeed, as the first wave, lots of people of my age — I am 58 — and I would say half of the patients are my age or even younger than I am," said the UK doctor.
He highlighted that there is no actual treatment for the novel Coronavirus infection apart from steroid intervention. So, while many people are still waiting for vaccines, the ICU doctor said: "The only thing that can make a difference is people following rules."
After listening to what Prof Montgomery said, many Twitter users reacted to the interview. A user wrote: "This was the most shocking interview from the Covid frontline I've heard- he sounded at the end of his tether." Another said on Twitter, "A rather sobering listen. An intensive care professor describes life on the front line."