Love Island’s Dr Alex George gives an insight into life on the NHS frontline and coronavirus testing

Dr Alex George has given another first-hand report from the frontline of the current coronavirus pandemic. 

Taking to Instagram on Sunday, the Love Island star, 30, shared an empowering snap of himself and his colleagues in the A&E department at University Hospital Lewisham, London, clad in scrubs with their fists raised into the air.

Dr Alex, provided his followers with a link to his latest YouTube video, which sees him give an insight into life on the NHS frontline, and in which he explains the TWO types of coronavirus testing as well as the ‘barriers’ to rolling them out across the UK. 

Life on the frontline: Dr Alex George, 30, has given another first-hand report from the frontline of the current coronavirus pandemic, taking to Instagram with an empowering photograph

Alex captioned his Instagram snap: ‘From my family to yours, stay home and stay safe. We are on shift and so won’t be able to hear your clap tonight, but know that the message is received loud and clear.

‘Latest video from the frontline is live on my YouTube channel. Link in bio.’ He later added: ‘So much love and support! THANK YOU.’  

In his YouTube video, Dr Alex documented his day on shift in London at University Hospital Lewisham’s A&E department.

The reality star explained how he’s seen a a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths over the past few days.

YouTuber: Dr Alex, provided his followers with a link to his latest YouTube video, which sees him give an insight into life on the NHS frontline

What it’s really like: The Love Island star explained what it’s like on the ground, and explained the TWO types of coronavirus testing as well as the ‘barriers’ to rolling them out across the UK

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‘Departments up and down the UK are getting busier and busier as the pressure from coronavirus builds up.

‘We’re seeing more patients requiring ventilators, requiring specialist input and support from us in the accident and emergency department.

‘We’re very grateful for those who are maintaining social distancing, who are staying at home, because at the end of the day that’s what’s going to take pressure off us on the front line, and allow us to keep as many people safe and the death rate as low as possible.’ 

‘We’ve split the department into sections, almost military style, keeping those patients who may be infected away from those without coronavirus symptoms.’

Despite the frighting situation, Dr Alex assured his followers that moral on the frontline was good, saying: ‘I just wanted to give you an insight into what’s going on at the moment.

‘My spirits are high and I feel that we’ve got enough protective equipment on the frontline to do what we need to do and to be able to perform our job as safely as possible.’ 

During a chat with his colleague Dr Farah Khan, Dr Alex said of the influx of patients with coronavirus: ‘Some of them are doing really well with a little bit of help, and then we’re sending them home.

‘It’s worth saying that, that we’re sending a lot of people home, actually,’ he added.

The pair discussed how it has tended to be those in the ‘vulnerable groups’ who have been struggling the most to fight off COVID-19.

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They urged those with ‘minor’ symptoms to stay at home, increase their fluids and self-medicate with paracetamol, unless they deteriorate and require medical assistance, in which case they should call 111.

At home, following his shift, Dr Alex discussed coronavirus testing: ‘There are two types, really, that we broadly split this into.

‘There’s antigen testing versus antibody testing. Antigen testing is essentially: Is there the presence of that virus in your body right now?

‘And we’re using swabs to do that. We’re taking swabs from the nose or the throat, sending them away to a lab,’ where Dr Alex explained that they’re then tested by experts.

‘Antibody testing, is where we usually do a finger prick test or we take a sample of blood, and we look for antibodies against that virus – either IGG or IGM, the two types of antibodies we usually look for when doing these tests.’

The Love Island star explained that the two tests were done in order to find out: ‘Do you have it ‘right now’? Yes, or no?

‘And: have you had it ‘at some point’? Yes or no, and are you immune to that at present?’ 

Dr Alex moved on to discuss why there’s a ‘barrier’ to wide-spread testing in the UK, while other countries across the world are testing hundreds of thousands of people daily.

He said: ‘Part of the reason is: a lot of these countries are ahead of us – they had cases much sooner. And in some cases, like in South Korea, they were very quick to act. 

‘Around the world, everyone has tried to buy the components and parts to these testing kits.

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‘Because we’re a little bit later on, we’re in a very different market place to buy these bits of equipment.’

Dr Alex explained that three new testing lab checkpoints have been set up in order to ramp up antigen testing NHS frontline staff, who are ‘beginning to see the roll out of that now.’ 

In terms of antibody testing, the Love Islander explained that it will take more time, because the tests need to be ‘reliable and accurate’ but they’re hoping to have 3.5 million of them as soon as possible.

‘It’ll obviously be very important and very useful in the frontline sense: Knowing you have had it and you’re hopefully immune to the coronavirus is very, very important for NHS workers and staff.’

Dr Alex confirmed that people won’t be able to buy the tests privately, instead they will be allocated by public health, the NHS sees fit to where they are needed at that time.

A warning appeared on screen, which read: ‘There are some tests available online, often unregulated and not approved by the appropriate regulatory body so be very careful before buying!’ 

He explained that the rollout of antibody testing will begin with: ‘Frontline staff, to those who are symptomatic in the community, to those who are Asymptomatic as well.’ 

‘Do I think that it [the tests] will be available to buy in the future? Potentially even abroad? Probably… But I don’t think it will be that soon, in the UK at least it will very much be controlled so the tests go to the right places at the right time.’ 

 

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