A 30-year-old patient died after attending a ‘“Covid-party”, believing the virus to be a hoax, a Texas medical official has said.

“Just before the patient died, he looked at his nurse and said ‘I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not,’” according to Dr Jane Appleby, the chief medical officer at Methodist hospital in San Antonio.

Appleby said: “I don’t want to be an alarmist, and we’re just trying to share some real-world examples to help our community realise that this virus is very serious and can spread easily.”

A “Covid party” is a gathering held by somebody diagnosed with coronavirus to see if the virus is real and to see if anyone gets infected, she explained.

Appleby said in a filmed document at the weekend that she had been spurred to reveal the case after seeing a “concerning” rise in infections. She said 22% of tests were revealing a case of Covid-19, up from just 5% a few weeks ago.

A broader age-range was being affected, with several 20 and 30 year olds critically ill at the Methodist hospital, she said.

“Please wear a mask, stay at home when you can, avoid groups of people and sanitise your hands,” said Appleby.

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