STAFF at a number of Irish hospitals have warned of the dangers that misleading videos and photos showing supposedly "empty" hospital corridors can cause.
A number of videos have been circulating on anti-Covid-19 social media pages recently, appearing to suggest that hospitals around the country are secretly empty and under no strain at all.
This in the spite of widespread reports that many hospitals in Ireland have been operating at near full capacity for over a month.
One such video, of St James' Hospital in Dublin, which has been viewed nearly 30,000 times on Facebook according to thejournal.ie, falsely claims the hospital isn't busy and that healthcare staff are lying about the number of cases.
It claims that staff are having "easy" work days and reports of the pressure they're under is somehow and hoax or a scam, because there aren't any patients to treat.
Hospitals are discomforted by the videos, which have been presented intentionally out of context, and recorded during periods of visitor restrictions that are in place to protect staff and patients from the spread of infection.
Staff are concerned that members of the public could see these clips and buy into the idea that the Covid-19 crisis is all a lie, ignore public health guidelines and spread infection further, exacerbating the situation.
The Northern Health and Care Social Trust, which manages the Antrim Area Hospital, said that claims that the hospitals are lying about Covid-19 are "ridiculous".
"The Trust is aware of the footage circulating where someone has filmed empty corridors and waiting rooms in Antrim Area Hospital in a bid to 'prove' that the hospital is not at capacity," the Trust said in a statement.
"When we talk about being over capacity, we are talking about beds all being occupied. Those beds are in wards, not corridors.
"We are glad to note that corridor and communal areas are not crowded as we need to adhere to social distancing regulations and do so with great difficulty.
"The pressures illustrated through the media this week were real and not staged in any way and it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise."