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Coronavirus: Dalston restaurant owner tells people to stay home after collapsing and being taken to Homerton Hospital

PUBLISHED: 12:16 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:12 17 March 2020

Chef Adam Hardiman at Madame Pigg. Picture: Madam Pigg

Chef Adam Hardiman at Madame Pigg. Picture: Madam Pigg

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The chef of a small independent restaurant in Dalston urged people to stay at home after collapsing and being taken to Homerton Hospital.

Adam Hardiman, who opened Kingsland Road spot Madame Pigg in 2018, had already closed his restaurant when Boris Johnson urged businesses to close on Monday evening.

He was hospitalised the previous night after a “bad flare up” of the pneumonia he had in February, but the hospital did not test him for Covid-19. He said the cases at the hospital were “already overwhelming” staff and said: “Stay the f*** in”.

In a post on Instagram he added: “Last night I was ‘999d’ to hospital after collapsing. As well as several hours in a high risk zone, I have had a bad flare up of the pneumonia I had last month and worked through. Hospitals are not testing for the virus because isolations in hospital are unsafe, it’s safer to be at home than on the wards.

“As such Madame Pigg will be closed today with immediate effect for two weeks whilst I take this time to recover personally.

Madme Pigg in Dalston. Picture: Madame PiggMadme Pigg in Dalston. Picture: Madame Pigg

“From what I have seen in hospital we have to come together as a community to stop the spread of this thing which ONLY happens by you staying in your flats.

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“As a chef / owner one year in this is the hardest call I’ve ever made, but family lives and my staff are more important than chicken schnitzels so we will be back soon.”

Adam urged other restaurants to follow suit, and said he would be paying staff during the closure.

“We will be working with the government backed loan scheme to ensure that all of our suppliers and landlord can be paid and as soon as it is safe to reopen we will,” he added. “Whether that is takeaway only or how long this lasts remains to be seen.”

Other restaurants took the same decision ahead of the prime minister’s press conference.

Ferhat Dirik, co-owner of the popular Mangal 2 in Stoke Newington Road, posted a video on Twitter earlier on Monday announcing the closure of the restaurant as sales dipped.

A spokesperson for Homerton Hospital said it could not comment on individual cases, adding:”Testing is carried out at the hospital in line with national guidelines. There is no shortage of face masks and indeed we took delivery of more yesterday. The hospital has introduced contingency plans to address Covid-19 including designated beds and increasing intensive care capacity.”

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