Woman fined over false claims about number of Covid patients

A WOMAN has been fined £200 for breaking coronavirus restrictions after taking photographs of “empty” corridors in Hampshire hospitals.

Police launched an investigation after receiving complaints about a Facebook user posting false claims about the number of Covid patients being treated on the wards.

News of the fine emerged after an incident at the University Hospital Southampton.

Maintenance staff working outside the hospital buildings on Saturday were confronted by a member of the public who shouted abuse and kept taking their photograph.

A woman whose partner was among those targeted said: “She wasn’t wearing a mask and was being very aggressive towards people who were just doing their job.

“She kept taking their photograph and said ‘you’re going to lose your job when I publish these’.

“She also tried to get into the hospital three times. Security were alerted and eventually she left.

“My partner was furious. No-one should be harassed at work and no-one should be put at risk at work.”

Last night a police spokesperson said a 30-year-old woman had been handed a £200 fixed penalty notice by officers investigating reports of someone visiting hospitals and taking photographs.

The spokesperson said she was fined because she did not have a valid reason for leaving her home.

It relates to an incident at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

She is thought to be one of several coronavirus sceptics and anti-lockdown activists who have posted footage on social media.

Hospitals are separating Covid sufferers from other patients as well as cancelling non-urgent care to free up space. NHS bosses say it means some areas can appear empty despite frontline staff dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases.

Heath chiefs have accused conspiracy theorists of risking people’s lives by insisting the pandemic is a hoax.

Hospitals are treating almost 50% more Covid patients than during the previous peak in April.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS in England, has launched an outspoken attack on people filming inside “empty” hospitals.

Sir Simon has branded their footage “a lie”.

Daily Echo | News