Kate, an ITV Good Morning Britain viewer, asked for advice from Dr Hilary Jones as she claimed her GPs refrained from telling her what to do with her suspected coronavirus symptoms and instead urged her to call 111. But as she revealed she is completely out of breath and coughing up “what looks like wallpaper paste”, Dr Hilary urged her to call 999 immediately.
He said: “There are so many people who don’t want to be using services inappropriately, but that wouldn’t be.
“If you’re breathless and you can hardly walk a few paces and you can’t finish a sentence when you’re talking, you should certainly be calling 999, not 111.
“First of all, 111 are inundated so it might take an hour or two to get a reply – and we just have to be patient because they’re doing the best they can – however if you’re that breathless you need to call 999.
“It’s possible that you do have COVID-19, it might not be, but you might do, in which case you need to be going into hospital, get into the red zone, be tested and properly treated just like you would ordinarily.
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“And remember, if it isn’t COVID-19, suppose you have a different kind of pneumonia, you’d still need to be assessed and properly treated, just as you do if you have chest pain or abdominal pain.”
It comes as more than 16,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in the UK, with over 120,000 confirmed cases.
The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said vaccines are “long shots” and people should not rely on the swift development of one for coronavirus.
A group of Oxford University researchers will begin clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine next week but Sir Patrick warned expectations need to be tempered.
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