Nurse in tears as she battles Covid while desperate to get back to helping patients

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A nurse on the coronavirus pandemic front line has said she feels 'helpless' as she is hospitalised with the illness herself.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital nurse Estrella Catalan said she was desperate to return to work, as she battled the virus.

The emergency department nurse gave an emotional interview to the BBC from her hospital bed.

She sobbed through breathing tubes as she said she wanted to return to work to help her colleagues – who are now treating her.

The nurse's breathing was laboured and her voice raspy as she insisted: "I want to help. But I don't know when.

Emergency department nurse Estrella Catalan gave a tearful interview
(Image: BBC)

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"I don't mind working and doing even extra shifts to help the Trust, but I'm here as a patient.

She continued: "I'm helpless."

According to the latest official figures, Norwich recorded a rate of 485.2 new Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people, compared to 352.8 the previous week.

According to local news, the Norfolk and Norwich (NNUH), James Paget and Queen Elizabeth hospitals have all warned rising admissions are piling intense pressure on their services this week.

The nurse is now being treated as a coronavirus patient by her own colleagues
(Image: BBC)

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The NNUH was reportedly forced to cancel most operations on Wednesday to deal with the rising demand from coronavirus admissions.

A spokesman for the hospital told the Eastern Daily Press : "Intensive care capacity at NNUH is usually around 20 beds.

"However, this has doubled over the last week and there are plans to increase critical care capacity again to 80 beds as part of our response to Covid-19 across the Critical Care Complex and other surge wards."

NHS Sir Simon Stevens tonight slammed conspiracy theorists who have claimed that hospitals are not overwhelmed by cases.

He said enough virus patients to fill an entire hospital were now arriving across England every day.

Speaking alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Thursday night's televised Downing Street conference, Sir Simon claims that hospitals are not under pressure were a “lie”.

False claims on social media were changing behaviour in a way that could kill people and were an “insult” to staff working in critical care, the health boss added.

Sir Simon said: “There is nothing more demoralising than having that kind of nonsense spouted when it is most obviously untrue."

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