Doctors and nurses’ plea to Londoners: ‘Wear masks on Tube and buses to save lives’


ntensive care doctors and nurses are pleading with Londoners to wear face masks on public transport to reduce the spread of Covid this winter.

Frontline staff at St George’s hospital, in Tooting, said they wore PPE (personal protective equipment) all day to save lives – and it was not too much to expect passengers to play their part by wearing a mask to keep others safe.

A social media campaign, backed by Mayor Sadiq Khan, launched on Tuesday, with the message: “I save lives, you can too.” It will be followed by posters on the Tube next month.

Teareen Mamdeen, an ICU nurse at St George’s hospital, is urging Londoners to wear face masks on the Tube

/ St George’s NHS trust

Teareen Mamdeen, an ICU nurse, said: “I work with extremely sick and vulnerable patients every day where I wear PPE for 12+ hours, as well as a mask on my commute.

“If everyone did the same when on public transport, it would drastically improve the current rising coronavirus situation in London, support the NHS as well as protect one another. It benefits everyone.”

Dr Tom Slater: “Seeing other commuters wearing face coverings on the Tube makes me feel valued in my frontline role .”

/ St George’s hospital

Dr Tom Slater, a neuro intensive care doctor, said: “Seeing other commuters wearing face coverings on the Tube makes me feel valued in my frontline role and that they are supporting us. If everyone encouraged their families and friends to wear face coverings, it would help reduce the risk of another winter wave of Covid-19.”

St George’s is currently treating 35 Covid patients, including nine in intensive care.

Mask wearing is associated with a 53 per cent reduction in the spread of Covid.

Mr Khan said the pandemic was “finely balanced” in the capital due to the arrival of the Omicron variant.

“Wearing a face covering is one of the most important, easiest and unselfish things we can all do to prevent the spread of Covid-19 this winter,” he said.

Jacqueline Totterdell, group chief executive of St George’s and Epsom and St Helier, said: “As someone with a respiratory condition and an NHS chief executive, I know the difference wearing masks makes first-hand, so it was important to me to personally champion this campaign alongside the Mayor.


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