Two children die in NHS hospital as GP warns patients are staying away

Two children die in NHS hospital as GP warns patients are staying away over fears they will contract coronavirus

  • Dr Manpinder Sahota, from Gravesend, Kent, says people are afraid of hospitals 
  • The children died at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford at around three weeks ago
  • GP wants to reassure patients that hospitals are disinfected and safe to attend
  • Medics warn avoiding hospitals and GP surgeries is a ‘ticking time bomb’ 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Two children have died in hospital as a GP raised concerns patients are staying away over fears about catching coronavirus. 

GP Dr Manpinder Sahota, from Gravesend, Kent, said a paediatric consultant called him up and voiced their concerns to him after both children suffered non-Covid related deaths at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford. 

Senior public health figures have repeatedly raised concerns about people not attending hospitals for non-coronavirus related conditions during the pandemic. 

It comes as NHS statistics revealed April was the quietest month ever for A&E departments across England with only 916,581 emergency department visits recorded.  

Priti Patel announced 351 more coronavirus deaths in Britain today, taking the official number of victims to 36,393. 

Dr Manpinder Sahota, a GP from Gravesend, Kent, said a paediatric consultant called him up to say they were worried two children had died in the Dartford hospital because of a reluctance to going to hospital

Although the A&E admission figures appear to now be returning to normal levels, NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis stated there were concerns peoples’ worries about the virus and not wanting to burden the NHS were forcing them to attempt to care for themselves instead of going to to hospital.   

Dr Sahota, who works at Pelham Medical Centre, said he wanted to get the message out to the public that people should go to hospital if necessary, especially children ‘because they are coming in very, very ill’.

Details regarding the two children’s ages and why they were admitted to hospital are yet to be disclosed. They died at the hospital around three weeks ago. 

The Mirror reported Dr Sahota said: ‘Parents were actually frightened to bring their kids in and some of them are either dying at home or it’s too late when they do get to hospital.

‘But hospitals have been cleaned and disinfected and all the Covid patients are separated – so the risk of catching it is not huge.

‘There’s a lot of people who will be dead or dying, or have a poor prognosis as a result because of these non-Covid late presentations.’

The GP said he believes the number of non-coronavirus deaths will increase dramatically in the next three to six months. 

He stated he estimates bookings to his surgery have dropped by two-thirds since the pandemic despite him trying to persuade patients to come in.   

His patients reported they were too scared to come in to the surgery also resulting in a decrease in referrals, including cancer referrals.      

During the crisis and subsequent lockdown, people have been avoiding hospitals out of fear of adding extra pressure to the NHS or catching the virus while they’re in the hospital, doctors say.

A&E departments saw fewer visitors than ever in April but NHS spokesman Stephen Powis said levels were beginning to return to normal

Medics warn the massive change in behaviour is a ‘ticking time bomb’ which may result in more people ending up seriously ill or dying in the near future because they avoided getting medical help when they needed it.

Dr Nick Scriven, of the Society for Acute Medicine, which represents hospital doctors, said the drop in A&E attendances in April was ‘a significant concern’ and people’s conditions may have worsened as a result.

‘This is a ticking timebomb in itself and it will be exacerbated by a myriad of other pressures in the coming weeks,’ he said.

‘There will be an ongoing need to keep people with coronavirus separate from others to prevent transmission, with segregated wards effectively reducing immediately available beds, so attempting to manage increased demand will be very challenging.’  

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Risk of children catching COVID-19 is 'unbelievably low'

Leading Cambridge University expert says risk for children catching COVID-19 is ‘unbelievably low’ and teachers are not at greater danger amid row over plans to reopen schools

  • Eminent statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter said data showed extremely low risk
  • Rubbished claims kids were super-spreaders, saying science did not back it up 
  • Boris Johnson has faced ferocious backlash for plan to reopen schools on June 1
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter claims the risk of children catching coronavirus is ‘unbelievably low’

The risk of children catching coronavirus is ‘unbelievably low’, according to one of the UK’s top experts.

Eminent statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter said data has also shown that teachers do not have a greater risk of becoming infected. 

The University of Cambridge professor’s testimony comes amid an explosive row over the reopening of schools next month.

Boris Johnson has faced ferocious backlash for the plan to get children in reception, year 1 and year 6 back to school, with at least 13 councils refusing to reopen amid safety fears for pupils, teachers and parents. 

Bur Professor Spiegelhalter pointed out that just one out of 7million children aged four to 14 in England and Wales has died from COVID-19.

He also claimed children carry just a fraction of the viral load compared to adults, which significantly reduces their ability to fall ill or infect others.

Professor Spiegelhalter told the BBC: ‘There have been, based on the data so far, extremely low risks to children. Out of 7million five to 14-year-olds in England and Wales, so far the number of death certificates revealed with Covid on it is one.

Children of essential workers socially distance whilst in lesson at Kempsey Primary School in Worcester, as plans for more children to return next month hang in the balance

Holywell Village First School in Northumberland has revealed its social distancing plans when schools reopen after lockdown – but at least 1,500 primary schools have already said they will not reopen fully

‘There will be more [that haven’t been confirmed], but there is still an extremely low risk. Of course we must remember this group of kids are staggeringly safe in general, less than one in 10,000 die every year. Nobody’s ever been safer in the history of humanity than this group of kids.’

Professor Spiegelhalter said that at least one child had died from a rare inflammatory illness linked to coronavirus, but reassured parents that the risk of the complication would now be ‘much lower now the epidemic in the community is under control.’


Brighton and Hove 













Have expressed ‘reservations’ but are leaving it to schools


Barking and Dagenham 





Asked about whether teachers and parents were being put at risk by schools reopening, the Cambridge professor said data suggested not.

He added: ‘The Office for National Statistics analysed Covid risks by occupation – some have higher risks, including bus drivers and care home workers.’ But teachers were not included in this category, he said. 

‘Of course people are anxious about the rest of the family, but in healthy young parents aged between 20 and 40, there have only been about 30 death so far out of 30,000 who don’t have existing conditions. 

‘There’s about a three in a million chance of risk of death. That’s a measurable risk, but in a sense it’s a manageable risk… it’s not overwhelming at all.’ 

Professor Spiegelhalter also condemned a German pre-published study that suggested children carry the same viral load of COVID-19 as adults.

Because youngsters get much more mild symptoms, the results raised fears children could become super-spreaders.

However the statistician said the data clearly had been misinterpreted because it actually showed children have just a quarter of the viral load of adults.

He added: ‘One of the big problems with this epidemic is that claims are being rushed out. Peer -review [when other scientists scrutinise research] has just disappeared from scientific analyses and yet they get a lot of media coverage.

‘It is widely claimed that children have got the same viral load as adults, from a German study.

‘If you look at that study it shows that is clearly not the case, children have about a quarter of the viral load according to the study. It’s a very poor statistical analysis.’ 

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s plans to reopen schools on June 1 appeared to be collapsing today after at least 13 mainly Labour councils refused to comply. 

It was revealed that up to 1,500 English primary schools are now expected to remain closed in 12 days’ time despite millions of children being at home for more than eight weeks.

Justice Minister Robert Buckland admitted this morning that the June 1 reopening date may now not be ‘uniform’ across England – as the Prime Minister’s pledge descended into chaos amid mass dissension from school staff, unions and local councils. 

MailOnline can reveal that parents who want to send their children back to school claim they have been shamed by other parents and teachers who claim they are being ‘hung out to dry’ by the

A survey of 20,000 parents by found that 62 per cent of the parents believe it won’t be safe to return to school or any form of childcare until at least September.

A further 10 per cent stated they don’t think it will be safe until October 2020.

Millions of parents are in limbo as it remains unclear if children in reception, year 1 and year 6 will be returning to school full time in less than a week.

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Three Children In New York Have Died Of A Mysterious Inflammatory Disease Potentially Linked To COVID-19

A woman and child wait in line to be screened for COVID-19 at a Brooklyn hospital.

BuzzFeed News has reporters across five continents bringing you trustworthy stories about the impact of the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.

Three children in New York have died of a mysterious inflammatory illness that may be related to COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The New York State Department of Health is investigating “several cases of severe illness in children and child deaths that may be related to COVID-19,” the governor’s office said in a press release.

There have been 73 reported cases in New York where children are experiencing symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic-shock like syndrome, including persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea, and “cardiovascular symptoms” that require intensive care.

Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood illness that causes inflammation in blood vessels.

On Thursday, a 5-year-old boy died in New York City from “these COVID-related complications,” Cuomo said.

On Saturday, the governor announced that three “young New Yorkers” had died of “what may be a COVID-related illness in children.”

It was unclear if the 5-year-old boy was included in the three deaths Cuomo mentioned Saturday, and what the ages of the victims were. The city’s health department redirected questions to the the state’s health department, which did not respond to a request for comment.

While state and global health officials have said that this illness is rare, the Department of Health released a May 6 advisory for hospitals, healthcare providers, and labs about a “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19” for those under the age of 21.

Cuomo also directed the New York State Department of Health to work with the CDC to determine whether the remaining cases under investigation are “definitively associated with the syndrome.”

“There’s still so much we don’t know about COVID-19, and in the beginning we were led to believe that the good news about this virus was it didn’t affect children,” Cuomo said in a news briefing.

“Now we have a new issue that we’re looking at where some children affected with the COVID-19 virus are becoming ill with symptoms similar to the Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome,” he said. “This would be really painful news and would open up an entirely different chapter in our fight against this virus, and the State Department of Health is currently investigating these cases to learn more.”

Cuomo cautioned parents to look out for symptoms of the illness and to “seek help immediately if your child is sick.”

The Kawasaki disease-like symptoms “may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness,” the governor’s press release said. It affects primarily toddler to elementary school-age children.

Health authorities in the UK have also reported a possible link between pediatric COVID-19 and a serious inflammatory disease, saying that there was a “small rise in the number of cases of critically ill children” with these symptoms.

Many of the children had tested positive for COVID-19 and showed symptoms of toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, UK health authorities said.

At a recent COVID-19 news briefing, a World Health Organization official said they were aware about reports in the UK and some other European countries about a “small number” of such cases among children but assured parents that the illness appeared to be “very rare.”

Earlier this week, the NYC Health Department said that 15 children, between the ages of 2 and 15 years, had been admitted to pediatric intensive care units between April 17 and May 1 with symptoms of the inflammatory syndrome.

Four of them tested positive for COVID-19, while 11 of them tested negative. Subsequent antibody testing turned up positive in six of the negative cases, indicating that they may have been exposed to or infected with the virus in the past.

Most children who get COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. As of Friday, 7 children between the ages of 0-17 have died of COVID-19 in New York City, according to the health department.

More on this

  • 15 Children In New York City Were Hospitalized With A Mysterious Inflammatory Disease Potentially Linked To COVID-19Tasneem Nashrulla · May 5, 2020
  • Their 5-Year-Old Daughter Died Of The Coronavirus. Now They’re Urging People To Take The Virus Seriously.Clarissa-Jan Lim · April 22, 2020

  • Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

    Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at [email protected]

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Children have 'started attacking parents during lockdown'

Victims commissioner Dame Vera Baird says frustrated teenagers have started attacking their parents as anti-social behaviour spikes during Covid-19 lockdown

  • Dame Vera Baird was speaking to MPs on Commons Justice Committee today
  • Has been speaking to representatives of victims’ services around the country
  • She revealed that ‘there were some real features emerging’ during the lockdown
  • Among them was ‘a big uptake in help for dealing with anti-social behaviour’
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Frustrated teenagers have started attacking their parents as complaints of anti-social behaviour grow during lockdown, the Victims’ Commissioner has said.

Dame Vera Baird told MPs on the Commons Justice Committee there has been ‘quite a big spike’ in calls about anti-social behaviour during the coronavirus outbreak.    

She has been speaking to representatives of victims’ services around the country on a weekly basis to gather information on who is being affected by crime amid the pandemic.

Although the information was anecdotal and not based on data, and crime had dropped overall, ‘there were some real features emerging’, she said.

Among them is ‘some suggestion’ of domestic abuse by older children against their parents during the lockdown, Dame Vera said.

Dame Vera Baird told MPs on the Commons Justice Committee there has been ‘quite a big spike’ in calls about anti-social behaviour during the coronavirus outbreak

She told MPs: ‘So this is a newer kind of domestic abuse which is probably suggestive of kids wanting to go out and not being allowed to. We are talking teenagers.

‘That, I think, is a worry and there’s a sense in which there’s a spike likely to emerge of this kind of domestic abuse complaining which is just coming through now.’

Dame Vera also told the Commons Justice Committee: ‘There’s quite a big uptake in help for dealing with anti-social behaviour.

‘It looks like, if I can put it this way, people are getting more frustrated and slightly angrier at things like noise nuisance, which perhaps isn’t a surprise given what’s going on.

‘But that is a big upturn, quite a big spike in calls about anti-social behaviour.’

Earlier this month, the National Police Chiefs’ Council said reports of anti-social behaviour had risen by 59 per cent during lockdown.

There had been an overall drop in levels of crime in England and Wales in the four weeks to April 12 of 28 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Regarding domestic violence, Dame Vera said: ‘Calls to the helplines have rocketed, complaints to the police have not gone up commensurately but complaints to victims’ services clearly have.

‘There are real worries about access to any help if you are locked down with the perpetrator in the next room.’

Victims’ services were also receiving high numbers of calls about welfare, she added.

Dame Vera told the committee: ‘Victims’ services are getting quite a lot of welfare-related calls – so about not having enough food, not being on Universal Credit, not having enough money, they’ve lost their job, as if people are having to resort to a friendly face and they’ve been victims of crime before.

‘They are asking for stuff which the victims’ services can’t answer.’

Dame Vera said calls to domestic violence helplines have ‘rocketed’. Victims’ services were also receiving high numbers of calls about welfare, she added

She has been working with Citizens’ Advice to try to make sure people are pointed towards the right support services.

When asked about victims’ experiences in court, Dame Vera said the ‘massive backlog’ of cases, particularly in Crown Courts, was ‘just going to get longer and longer’.

She told of incidents where victims had not found out until the very last minute their case had been delayed or they had not been notified about a cancellation and were being given unrealistic dates for adjournments, while some were confused about rules on attending court or if their health could be in danger.

Dame Vera added: ‘There’s a whole lot of confusion and chaos and the difficulty is, of course, we suspect that victims won’t stick at it and they won’t support if it doesn’t sort itself out fairly soon, so I think it’s bad for victims, I think it’s bad for the system.’

It comes after campaigners earlier in the month said soaring levels of domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown had led to at least 16 killings.

Karen Ingala Smith, the founder of Counting Dead Women, which records the number of women killed by men in Britain, said there had been at least 16 killings between March 23 and April 12. 

Dame Vera told MPs at at an earlier Commons Justice Committee: ‘Counting Dead Women has got to a total of 16 domestic abuse killings in the last three weeks. 

‘We usually say there are two a week, that looks to me like five a week, that’s the size of this crisis.’

Last week it was revealed that Metropolitan Police officers are arresting an average of 100 people a day for domestic violence offences during the lockdown.

The force said that charges and cautions were up 24 per cent from March 9, when people with Covid-19 symptoms were asked to self-isolate, compared to last year.

Commander Sue Williams said domestic incidents, which can include family rows not recorded as crimes, were up 3 per cent year on year and 9 per cent between March 9 and April 19, although offences were up just 2 per cent in the virus period.

There have been two domestic-related murders recorded in London as police continue to warn of an increased risk of abuse during the coronavirus lockdown.

Metropolitan Police Commander Sue Williams (pictured in London in 2017) said domestic incidents were up 3 per cent year on year and 9 per cent between March 9 and April 19

‘We are seeing a rise, there’s no doubt about that, and we welcome that because we will take positive action against any perpetrators,’ Ms Williams said.

‘We are arresting about 100 people a day for domestic offences, which I think is pretty amazing, even given all the challenges we have in London.’

She said police officers were finding it ‘much easier’ to arrest suspects, who are either at home during the coronavirus lockdown or with family members or friends.

‘If you’re a domestic abuse suspect, we want them charged, cautioned or bailed,’ she said.

‘Our charges and our cautions are up 24 per cent on last year, and that’s in the Covid-19 period. So, we are charging more people. 

‘It will be a mixture of charges and cautions, but mainly charges because we don’t like cautioning and the CPS don’t like cautioning people for domestic abuse.

‘So, they have definitely gone up. If we have to bail someone, we bail them with conditions.’

Ms Williams told reporters success stories included a pregnant woman in east London who called police for help.

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