On January 2, a Facebook profile „ბიბლიის მორწმუნე ქრისტიანები“ (Bible-believing Christians) uploaded a video that mentions that a 46-year old British Debbie Hicks was arrested after she recorded a video in the Gloucestershire Hospital and showed that the hospital was empty, while the UK Government and the National Health Service lie when they state that hospitals cannot take anymore COVID-patients.
In the first half of the widely disseminated video, Debbie Hicks can be heard recording in the hospital, where corridors are empty and silent. Hicks notes that she had never seen the hospital so empty. The second part of the video shows how police are arresting her.
Debbie Hicks recorded the live video on December 27. After the Gloucestershire Hospital published a statement replying to her accusations, she once again went to the hospital and recorded another live video. On December 30 she published another video showing that a police officer is arresting her.
As of January 12, the post by “Bible-believing Christians” had 565 shares. A Facebook user Mamuka Kakauridze shared it in three public groups: ალტ-ინფო,(Alt-Info), Photo-Fact GEORGIA, and პრემიერ-მინისტრი გიორგი გახარია (Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia).
The video by the British anti-lockdown activist is manipulative, because: 1. She recorded the video on December 27, when outpatient blocks and several shops in the hospital building were closed due to a Christmas break. 2. The video was recorded in the outpatient block, where COVID-patients are not placed. As the hospital explained, COVID-patients are treated in critical care units.
On December 27, an anti-lockdown activist, Debbie Hicks entered the main entrance of the Gloucestershire Hospital and recorded the video in the corridors of the outpatient block. This department is marked on the map in light blue (OP – Outpatient Block).
COVID-patients are not treated in the given block – they are placed in the critical care units. This unit is included in Tower Block, which is marked on the map in yellow (TB – Tower Block).
On December 28, the Gloucestershire Hospital published a statement in response to Debbie Hicks’ video, mentioning that when Hicks recorded the video, the outpatient block and several shops were closed due to the Christmas break.
Moreover, the statement underlined that the hospital is especially overloaded and is currently treating more than 200 COVID-patients, with majority of them receiving treatment in critical care units. The statement also notes that the hospital provides care and treatment to more than 500 non-COVID patients.
Apart from COVID-patients, the hospital provides emergency treatment to more than 300 patients in the Gloucestershire and Cheltenham outpatient blocks.
After the publishing of the hospital’s statement, on December 29, Debbie Hicks once again returned to the hospital and recorded another live video, where she recorded Tower Block, showing that several COVID-patients were receiving treatment in wards located on several floors. Hicks’ video showed nurses walking in the corridors, but she nevertheless noted that the hospital should have been even busier. It is noteworthy that the video does not show wards, where COVID-patients are receiving treatment, and Hicks concludes that if the patients are not walking down the corridors, they are not there.
Hicks was arrested on December 30. She published the video showing her arrest herself.
According to the Speaker of the Gloucestershire Police, Hicks was arrested for violating public order. She was freed on bail and with a condition that she would never enter any building of the UK’s National Healthcare Service except for emergency needs or an appointment.
Hicks has already been arrested earlier while being an organizer of the Stroud Freedom Rally, an anti-lockdown rally. On November 7, 2020, several participants of this rally were arrested for violating the coronavirus-related legislation on gathering in public places, while the organizers received fines worth 10,000 GBP.
By Mariam Talakhadze
See the archive of Bible-believing Christians’ post: https://archive.ph/WeQMU
The article uses data by CrowdTangle, a Facebook search tool.
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