Bruised, battered and exhausted, Aimee Goold yesterday begged people to “remember this face” and stay at home over the Easter weekend. The damage to Aimee’s face is from the pressure of wearing personal protective equipment over a 13-hour shift. The post from Aimee, who works at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital, was shared online more than 132,000 times. Many called her a hero. It came as the UK saw another 980 hospital deaths, the highest single day total since the pandemic began, taking Britain’s coronavirus fatalities to 8,958.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We never forget that behind this number, behind each one, is a name, a loss and a family that will never be the same again.
“We all share a responsibility to tackle this virus, first and foremost by staying at home.”
Some 5,706 new cases have brought the UK total testing positive for Covid-19 to more than 70,000.
Meanwhile social media users lined up to pay tribute to Aimee. Melanie Hollick said: “Thank you to you and all your colleagues from the bottom of my heart, so proud of our NHS and country. It’s just the idiots who let us down.”
Barbara Watts told Aimee: “Bless you lovely lady.You say you are proud to be doing what you do but not half as proud as we are of you and every single one of you working to end this horrible situation.”
Mark Howard said: “Heroes isn’t a big enough compliment to describe our wonderful NHS and care staff.”
An emotional Nikki Gallagher added: “Oh sweetheart, my heart breaking for you and all your colleagues.
“If people did what they were told you wouldn’t have to endure this hell.” Kenneth Hughes said: “I’m so proud of this lady, stay safe angel.” Aimee’s boyfriend Josh Andrusiak posted: “Do us a favour; stay indoors so she can take her PPE [personal protective equipment] off and have a normal face again.”
Yesterday’s virus death toll included 866 patients aged 27 to 100 who lost their lives in England.
Deputy chief medical officer Professor JonathanVan-Tam said the UK was still in a “dangerous phase”.
He said: “We have to take the pain now to make the gain in a few weeks time.
“You can see the broad trend, that we have been in an increase phase and we are now at a point where we are at a high level and the numbers are varying day by day.
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“We are in a dangerous phase still. And I need to reinforce that again to you, that this is not over.”
The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 stands at 19,304 and Prof Van-Tam said: “It’s impossible to say we have peaked. London has gone down in the last day, but Yorkshire and the North East has gone up.”
Prof James Naismith, of the Rosalind Franklin Institute and Oxford University, said: “There are now encouraging signs in the trends of hospital admissions that social distancing is working as expected.
“Our continuing social distancing has and will save thousands of lives.”
Prof Naismith also praised “too easily derided” younger people who had “put their social, family, love and working lives on pause” to save older generations despite being statistically less at risk.
He said: “Life is for living and our young people’s willingness to give up, for others, that which makes us human, is something we must not forget.”