‘Stay at home’ video plea from Belfast healthcare workers goes viral

‘Stay at home’ video plea from Belfast healthcare workers goes viral

A powerful video from frontline coronavirus medics in Belfast appealing to the public to stay at home has gone viral.

The message from doctors, nurses and physiotherapists in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust’s respiratory team has received widespread praise as views passed one million within hours of it going online on Sunday night.

By 7pm today, it been watched 2.1 million times.

In the video, 20 healthcare workers stand in the atrium of Belfast’s Mater Hospital – with the recommended two metres between them – with team members taking it in turn to urge people to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

One of them, a respiratory consultant called Angela, says: “We are now at a crucial time, this is not a rehearsal, you will only have one chance at this.

“Stay at home.”

It comes amid evidence of many people seemingly ignoring social distancing advice over the weekend.

Healthcare workers stand in the atrium of Belfast’s Mater Hospital (Belfast Trust/PA)
Healthcare workers stand in the atrium of Belfast’s Mater Hospital (Belfast Trust/PA)

Stormont’s Deputy First Minister, Michelle O’Neill, hailed the message from the Belfast medical team.

“I salute you,” she tweeted.

“Thank you for what you are doing. Please hear the people trying to save lives – we are in a crisis. Stay at home.”

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also retweeted the video.

“At times of crisis, health care workers stay at work for us,” she wrote.

“They are asking us to stay at home for them.”

The video was one of several social media messages posted as part of the #fightback campaign which saw sports stars and celebrities across Northern Ireland appeal to people to stay at home.

The North’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, welcomed what he described as a “grassroots” initiative.

“That’s the sort of spirit we all now need to embrace,” he said.

Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland Dr Michael McBride said people should not trivialise the Covid-19 emergency (Liam McBurney/PA)
Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland Dr Michael McBride said people should not trivialise the Covid-19 emergency (Liam McBurney/PA)

Dr McBride expressed concern that some people are not taking the outbreak seriously enough.

“People should not be trivialising this disease – while it is for most a mild to moderate illness, for some it’s not,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.

“There’s no point any of us looking back in two weeks and thinking ‘I wish we’d done more’.

“We need to take steps now and over the next couple of weeks to protect our health service, so that our brothers, sisters, mums, dads, grannies and grandfathers get the care they need from the health service and to protect our healthcare workers.”

More on this topic

Co Tyrone man completes marathon in his driveway to raise money for NHSCo Tyrone man completes marathon in his driveway to raise money for NHS

Covid-19: Number of patients being treated in England's hospitals jumps almost 50%Covid-19: Number of patients being treated in England's hospitals jumps almost 50%

Patients admitted to hospital after delay in seeking GP helpPatients admitted to hospital after delay in seeking GP help

Fergus Finlay: I found resilience and character — without leaving my homeFergus Finlay: I found resilience and character — without leaving my home