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Featured Image Credit: BBC
A woman has told people that 'Covid is real' as she struggles to breathe from her hospital bed.
Hanifah gave her warning as she lay on an ICU ward at Croydon University Hospital, gasping for air.
Speaking to the BBC, the 42-year-old said she felt as though she was 'dying' and that the virus had knocked her for six.
She said: "Even to young people, regardless, you might think you have no any illnesses. It doesn't matter. I've been healthy, had no any illness, nothing. But Covid just struck me down."
Dr Yogini Raste, a consultant at Croydon Hospital echoed her warning and said that it's vital people continued to follow the rules set out by the government.
She told the news site: "This is not fake news. This is real, this is happening.
"We are in the thick of it so it's vital that everybody follows the rules - and it's not just the elderly. We do have a lot of young patients, some of whom are seriously unwell who do end up requiring ventilation on the ICU."
As of Monday (11 January), another 529 people had sadly died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the UK to 81,960.
According to NHS England data, there were also 32,070 coronavirus patients in English hospitals as of 8am on Monday - this is 20 percent higher than last week and 81 percent higher than Christmas Day.
England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty recently warned that the country is facing its most critical time.
He told BBC Breakfast: "This is going to be a significant crisis for the NHS unless we take evasive action.
"We have a very significant problem. The next few weeks are going to be the worst weeks of this pandemic in terms of numbers into the NHS.
"What we need to do before the vaccines have had their effect... is we need to really double down: this is everybody's problem. Any single unnecessary contact you have with someone is a potential link in a chain of transmission that will lead to a vulnerable person.
"We've all got to as individuals help the NHS, help our fellow citizens by minimising the amount of unnecessary contacts we have."
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England was to be placed in a third national lockdown, with people being told to stay at home as much as possible other than for a number of permitted reasons, such as for work, shopping for essential items, and medical issues.
Under the rules, people can fulfill volunteering obligations; exercise once a day alone, with people from their household, or one person from another household; visit other people in their support bubble; and carry out compassionate visits, such as to those who are giving birth or in a hospice.
All pubs and restaurants must also close, except to provide food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway. Alcohol is banned for takeaway and click-and-collect, but will still be available for delivery.