A healthcare worker who spent 68 days in intensive care due to Covid-19 has warned the "disease does not care that you are young, fit and healthy".

Speaking at the Department of Health's briefing this evening, Jerick Martin said he is "very grateful to be alive" and added he wants people to realise the effect the virus can have on them. 

He said: "It does not care that you have a family who love you and who are waiting for you to come home.

"Anyone can catch it, and anyone can become very sick."

Mr Martin, who is in his 30s, was hospitalised in Beaumont five days after testing positive for the virus.

He spent most of his time in ICU on a ventilator and in an induced coma.

Mr Martin said: "I was told by my doctor that I would be in the induced coma for a few days, but I actually woke up two months later. 

"The impact of that is very frightening and it will have long-lasting effects."

Mr Martin said he had multi-organ failure and his family had to cope with him being unable to respond to them, unable to hear them, surrounded by machinery and tubes in a hospital bed. 

He said this was a "living hell" for his wife and she thought he was going to die. Mr Martin said the hospital rang his wife twice to tell her that he might not live.

Since leaving hospital he said his life and health have changed. He has lost three-and-a-half stone in weight, suffers from diabetes, shortness of breath and hypertension - conditions he didn't before he was diagnosed with Covid-19. 

He said: "Now, I need an inhaler and I am short of breath going up or down the stairs."

Mr Martin added: "I don't know what the longer term effects are going to be.

"I am asking now for everyone to be careful. Take this virus very seriously."