Hard-hitting advert airs as pressure to obey lockdown ramps up

The public will be shown a series of powerful new ads warning people to stay home to ensure people abide by the lockdown rules.

The commercials ask close-ups of frontline doctors and faces of Covid-19 patients, “Can you look them in the eyes and tell them you are helping by staying home?”

It comes after the government on Wednesday reported an additional 1,820 people in the UK who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, a record daily.

Another 1,401 deaths were reported on Friday using the same criteria, bringing the total number of deaths since the UK epidemic started to 95,981.

Separate figures released by the UK statistical authorities for deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, as well as additional data on deaths that have occurred in the past few days, show that there are now 112,000 deaths with Covid-19 in the UK 19 gave.

The television commercial aired on ITV and Kanal 4 on Friday night. The government said that further advertising will appear on the radio, online and on social media from Saturday evening.

A tone shift from previous ads will broadcast footage and comments from coronavirus patients and NHS staff caring for them in Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

The government said that currently someone is hospitalized with the virus every 30 seconds, a quarter of whom are under the age of 55.

Over 38,000 beds are currently occupied by Covid patients in England.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The NHS is under a lot of pressure.

“They rely on us all to obey the rules.

“I know how long the last few months have felt, and I know the vast majority of people follow the rules, but we’ve come too far to let up now.

“We’re getting closer to fighting this virus every day and over five million people across the UK have been vaccinated.

“But now, more than ever, we need to stick together to protect our NHS and continue to save lives.

“The message couldn’t be clearer – stay home.”

UK Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “The effects of the current wave are still putting significant pressure on hospitals across the country and many patients are very ill.

“Vaccines offer clear hope for the future, but for now we must all continue to do our part to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Dr. Emeka Okorocha, an A&E doctor at East London Hospitals, said, “The past year has been tough for everyone and I know the lockdown has been so frustrating for so many of us.

“But right now, life on the front lines is very difficult. So, ask yourself if it’s worth breaking the rules to meet friends.

“Lives are being lost and the burden on my colleagues is clear.

“We’re all exhausted, but we’re still fighting this terrible disease.”

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