South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) has told people to disregard a ‘voice mail’ message that has been circulating on social media purporting to come from someone who had a meeting with their team.
In the clip, a female claims that she has ‘just been to a meeting with SECAMB’ regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that is expected to peak across the country next week.
The female in the voice recording claims that SECAMB will ‘not be sending ambulances to people with breathing difficulties’ during next week (commencing 13th April) and that ‘patients with breathing difficulties’ will be ‘told to manage their own symptoms at home’.
In the message, a female said:
“Ok, so I am sending this message after a meeting that I have just had at work.
“When I say to you that I did not realise the severity of what it is going to be like next week, I need to pass this on to all family and friends.
“This has come from Public Health England to all ambulance services in the UK.
“We are being moved upstairs at SECAMB.
“As of Thursday this week, we will be hitting our peak of 900 deaths per day.
“One-third of them (deaths) are going to be babies or children or teenagers with no underlying health issues.
“The scariest thing they said is that if anyone phones up (999) to say that they are struggling to breathe, then we will be telling them to manage their symptoms at home.
“And when I asked at what point we will be sending (ambulances) they said that they wouldn’t be (sending any ambulances)”.
However, SECAMB and other NHS Ambulance Trusts around the country have said that the message is not correct and that people should not listen to it/forward to other people.
A spokesperson for SECAMB said:
“We are aware of a voice message being shared currently on social media regarding the ambulance response to coronavirus.
“The alarmist information being shared in the message is not correct.
“We would urge people to disregard the message and not share it further.
“In line with our ongoing plans during this challenging time, we are continuing to follow national guidelines regarding the ambulance response and thank the public for their ongoing support in following the government’s advice”.
Professor Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at Public Health England, said:
“We are aware of a voice message circulating about the ambulance response to coronavirus, as well as restrictions on movement and predicted case numbers, which claims to come from PHE.
“This is fake news, and we would urge people to ignore the message and not share it further”.
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