A hoaxer who went into hospitals and took photos of staff and patients before claiming wards were ’empty’ has been fined £200 over the ‘highly disrespectful and misleading’ stunt.
Hannah Dean posed as a journalist to gain entry to several hospitals before sharing photos on social media of quiet corridors and claiming the government was ‘lying’ about the pandemic.
But the 30-year-old fitness instructor was taking pictures of areas which were not on the frontline in the fight against the virus.
The mother-of-two’s Facebook account has been heavily criticised by the NHS for the post, in which she urged people to go along to hospitals and film their own videos.
Hannah Dean posed as a journalist to gain entry to several hospitals before sharing photos on social media of quiet corridors and claiming the government was ‘lying’ about the pandemic
The 30-year-old urged people to go along to hospitals and film their own videos
The photos of corridors claimed to be taken at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, Hampshire, Southampton General hospital, the Princess Royal University hospital near Bromley, Kent and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, West Sussex.
In a bizarre post earlier this month Dean wrote: ‘Free-range humans are seriously selfish!’
Dean, who claims to be a ‘registered journalist’, wrote: ‘QA Queen Alexandra… hospital is the quietest I have ever seen it. I know this is hard to get our heads around, but the government are lying to us.’
Police said the photos were not of parts of the hospital involved in treating patients with Covid.
Portsmouth Police said the post had caused ‘angst in the community’, and Hampshire Police confirmed Dean had received a £200 fine for not having a valid reason for leaving her home.
Dean, who describes herself as a ‘registered journalist’, boasted that she ‘hadn’t heard from police in a week’ before being fined, and said officers had ‘no grounds to detain me’.
Dean has also written anti-vaxx posts, and posted a meme appearing to mock Kate and Gerry McCann on her Facebook.
NHS Chief Sir Simon Stevens said last week that claims hospitals were empty were ‘simply untrue’ and told a Downing Street briefing: ‘When people say that coronavirus is a hoax, it is a lie.
‘If you sneak into a hospital at 9pm and film an empty corridor and then stick it on social media claiming it ‘proves hospitals are empty’, you are responsible for changing behaviour that will kill people.
‘It is also an insult for the nurse coming home from 12 hours working in critical care having worked her guts out under the most demanding and trying of circumstances.
‘There is nothing more demoralising than having that kind of nonsense spouted when it is most obviously untrue.’
Police said the photos were not of parts of the hospital involved in treating patients with Covid
Covid is now behind a THIRD of all deaths in England and Wales as 2020 saw the biggest spike in excess deaths since World War Two
By Luke Andrews For Mailonline
One in every three deaths in England and Wales was linked to coronavirus in the final days of 2020, official figures revealed today as a separate analysis claimed the virus was behind the sharpest rise in fatalities since 1940.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) numbers show 31.2 per cent of deaths in the five days to January 2 — 3,144 out of 10,069 — had Covid mentioned on their death certificates. This is the highest proportion in the second wave.
The number of deaths from the virus rose by eight per cent — 232 more people — compared to the previous week, despite the figures reported covering two fewer days than a normal week.
Coronavirus drove the steepest climb in deaths for 80 years, a separate analysis found, after killing about one per cent of those infected and disrupting healthcare for patients including those suffering from cancer.
Boris Johnson added: ‘The kind of people who say Covid is a hoax, they need to grow up.
‘You’ve heard from the head of NHS England the pressure the NHS is under. We’ve got to do our bit to protect it.’
In a bizarre post earlier this month Dean wrote: ‘I can’t wait until our government hears my desperate crys and puts full restrictions on my movement, restricting me from certain areas of my cage…. it can’t come soon enough [sic].
‘Free-range humans are seriously selfish! Thank god for this new rushed through vaccine that nobody will be held accountable for in the event of it causing injury or even death! Because the way I see it is, A few deaths caused by vaccines, is a small price to pay to save a few lives. [sic]’
Portsmouth Police said in a post: ‘Some of you will have seen the reports of persons attending local hospitals, taking photos of parts of the hospital that are not on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, and using the images to suggest are hospitals are not being stretched.
‘These actions have caused angst in the community, and have prompted a number of calls to us reporting the posts.
‘We have identified the source of the posts and have today issued a fixed penalty notice to the person responsible under the Health Protection Regulations 2020.
‘Our colleagues across the NHS are working flat out to fight this virus, and we are all grateful for their continued efforts.
‘There has been lots of publicity this weekend about us all doing our bit to stick to the rules and guidelines to support our NHS – we urge each and everyone of you to do the same.’
More than 600,000 people died in England and Wales in 2020… the highest annual total since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic – and it even outnumbers the year of the Blitz at the start of World War 2
More people have died over the past 12 months than in any year for more than a century, figures showed yesterday.
There were 608,002 deaths in England and Wales last year, the highest annual total since 1918, a year that saw the Spanish flu pandemic.
Deaths in the year of Covid even outnumbered those of 1940, the year of the Blitz, when mortality rates leaped as tens of thousands were killed in bombing raids.
The count from the Office for National Statistics showed there were 75,925 ‘excess deaths’ in England and Wales last year.
The mortality rate — the number of deaths per 1,000 people — surged by 12.1 per cent last year after 604,000 fatalities from all causes were recorded, including 77,700 where the virus was mentioned on the death certificate. It hasn’t surged so much since 1940, when the Blitz and war with Germany led to 590,000 deaths and a 20 per cent jump in the annual death rate. Excluding warfare, figures reveal it is the sharpest rise in almost a century, with the last rise of 12 per cent recorded in 1929 when the country was in the grips of the Great Depression
There were 608,002 deaths in England and Wales last year, the highest annual total since 1918, a year that saw the Spanish flu pandemic
The excess deaths figure – the number of deaths more than the average toll over the previous five years – is the highest since the Second World War. The figures do not count war deaths of Britons overseas.
Sarah Caul, of the ONS, said the death toll in 2020 was ‘extraordinary’ and added: ‘With the pandemic ongoing, we expect to see more deaths above the average, and it is unknown how long repercussions of this pandemic will be felt.’
The 608,002 deaths in England and Wales – just short of 697,000 when deaths in all UK countries are counted – compares with 611,861 deaths in England and Wales in 1918.
But changes in the age and size of the population mean this is not a like-for-like comparison.
A temporary mortuary is set up in the grounds of Headley Court in Leatherhead, Surrey on January 11, after local morgue services begin to reach capacity
Britain today alone confirmed another 1,243 deaths from coronavirus. There were 45,533 positive tests, a drop of 25 per cent from this time last week and brings the average for the past seven days down with it
The population in England and Wales in 1918 was 34million, compared with around 60million today, so proportionately more people died in 1918 than in 2020.
There have been more than 600,000 deaths in only two years since records began in 1838.
Some 581,537 deaths were recorded in 1940, but rising population has meant that numbers of deaths in England and Wales were higher than that in several years in the 1970s and 80s.
Excess deaths last year – estimated to be 91,000 across the UK – meant that mortality jumped to 15 per cent above the five-year average, the greatest upward leap of any year since 1940.
Taking into account rising population, mortality rates in 2020 showed that more than one in every 10,000 people in England and Wales died last year.
The mortality rate — the number of deaths per 1,000 people — surged by 12.1 per cent last year after 604,000 fatalities from all causes were recorded, including 77,700 where the virus was mentioned on the death certificate. It hasn’t surged so much since 1940, when the Blitz and war with Germany led to 590,000 deaths and a 20 per cent jump in the annual death rate
This mortality rate is the highest since 2003, the last year the death rate was above one in 10,000, and ends a period of 17 years in which increasingly good health has led to people living longer.
Ben Humberstone, of the ONS, told BBC Radio Four’s World At One: ‘The number of excess deaths is beyond what we would have expected even given the pandemic, particularly when you take into account the lower than average flu deaths in the first three months of last year. It really is astonishing.
‘It is also quite difficult working with these figures, recognising that all of those are families who’ve lost loved ones, communities and colleagues who are bereaved. That is the bit that stands out to us as health statisticians.’
The ONS figures showed that 31.2 per cent of deaths registered in England and Wales in the last week of 2020 were said by doctors to be of patients with symptoms of Covid-19 – the highest share since the peak of the pandemic in April.
Experts believe the UK could face another 25,000 deaths because of infections that occurred over the last three weeks, which is roughly how long it takes for a patient to become severely ill and die from the virus
There were 3,144 deaths in which coronavirus was noted on death certificates, the greatest number of Covid-linked deaths in a week since May.
The ONS figures are based on numbers of deaths which are registered and analysis of death certificates on which doctors have mentioned the presence of Covid.
They differ from the daily Public Health England count, which records deaths of people within 28 days of a positive test.
The ONS warned that its figures covering the week that ended on Friday, January 1, are skewed because two bank holidays, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, fell during the seven days. Register offices were closed on those days, so deaths could not be officially recorded.
There were 10,069 deaths in England and Wales recorded during the week, 1,451 fewer than during the previous week, which included the single Christmas Day bank holiday. The figure was more than a quarter higher than the five-year average for the last week of the year.
Deaths attributed to coronavirus were ‘the highest proportion of deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending May 1’.
The ONS figures suggested that the virus continues to take the greatest toll among the oldest age groups, and that there is no major increase in virus deaths among younger people.
It said that in the week ending January 1 ‘the number of deaths involving the coronavirus in England and Wales increased in most age groups compared with the previous week, except for people aged between 45 and 49 years – one fewer death’.
The report said: ‘The biggest increase was seen in those aged between 85 and 89 years – 100 more deaths. More than three-quarters –75.3 per cent – of deaths involving Covid-19 were in people aged 75 years and over.’
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, M&S and Lidl agree masks crack down amid fears of attacks on staff
By Sean Poulter, Consumer Affairs Editor for the Daily Mail
Britain’s biggest supermarkets united last night in formally banning customers without masks.
The stores have also urged customers to shop alone in an effort to help combat increasing infections. Wearing masks will now be strictly enforced at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Lidl.
The move follows pressure from the Government, with some ministers suggesting that retailers have not been doing enough to protect the public.
Many industry leaders are privately furious, however, that shops are being treated as scapegoats for soaring infections.
A woman is challenged yesterday for not wearing a mask at a Morrisons store in South East London
There are concerns the clampdown will trigger flashpoints at supermarket doors, with staff facing abuse and even violence.
Tesco explained its tough line, saying: ‘To protect our customers and colleagues, we won’t let anyone into our stores who is not wearing a face covering, unless they are exempt in line with government guidance. We will have additional security in stores to help manage this.’
Waitrose said: ‘Marshals will be positioned at the entrances of all supermarkets. They will have disposable masks for customers who do not have their own and will deny admission to anyone refusing to comply.’
In contrast, both the Co-op and Iceland have refused to enforce wearing masks for fear it will lead to attacks on employees.
An Asda shopper in Swindon has no face mask yesterday. She is also wearing a lanyard and it is not known whether she has an exemption
The two stores and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) insist the police are responsible for enforcing the rules – not shop workers. The penalty is £200 for a first offence.
The Co-op has seen an 80 per cent rise in attacks, including swearing, spitting and physical assaults, during the pandemic. It said: ‘We have strict policies about ensuring our colleagues are not placed in harm’s way.’
Iceland said: ‘In view of the rising tide of abuse and violence directed at our store colleagues, we do not expect them to confront the small minority of customers who aggressively refuse to comply.’
A shopper at a Morrisons in Thamesmead, South East London, brought along her face mask yesterday but failed to utilise it correctly
It has been suggested the Government could increase the social distancing rule for shops from one to two metres, and also ban non-essential stores offering ‘click and collect’.
The majority of retail industry bosses argue both plans would be a disaster – particularly for small shops.
BRC director of business and regulation, Tom Ironside, said: ‘The ability for non-essential stores, from florists to toy and book shops, to offer click and collect services has been a lifeline.’
John Lewis has already decided to partially suspend its click and collect service from department stores, although it will still be available through Waitrose.