Paralympian Kim Daybell has swapped table tennis training for working as a doctor in the United Kingdom ©Paralympics GB

Two-time Paralympian Kim Daybell, who represented Britain at table tennis, has joined the country's National Health Service to help patients with coronavirus.

Daybell completed a medical degree in 2018 and has since combined table tennis with working part-time as a junior doctor at the Whittington Hospital in North London. 

The 27-year-old was due to start training full-time for the Tokyo Paralympics this week but is instead working full-time at hospital helping patients affected by coronavirus.

“I was due to be finishing [as a doctor] to train full-time but they asked if I would come on a full-time rota, which I have started doing this week," said Daybell.

"I am finishing surgery and will be a medical Senior House Officer managing coronavirus patients.

"Hospitals have shut down all their non-urgent treatment and policies have changed. 

"We are avoiding all non-coronavirus related admissions at all cost as long as it is safe to do so and most people are being treated in their community for lots of different things. 

"People come to hospital if they have the coronavirus and need support like oxygen and if they are well enough to leave they get sent home. 

"Every day they open up another ward to be a coronavirus ward and most wards are filling up by the day."

Daybell, who competed at London 2012 and Rio 2016, where he reached the quarter-finals in both the men's singles and team competitions, said he sympathised with the difficulties competitors faced after the postponement of the Paralympic Games was announced on Tuesday (March 24).

“I think people might say ‘well they just have to wait a year’ and when you put things into perspective it is not a big deal," said Daybell.

"But as an athlete I can appreciate the difficulties that other athletes are going through now. 

"A year is a long time in sport – especially Paralympic sport with the athletes who have deteriorating conditions and who’s to say where they will be in a year’s time.

"All the athletes have been gearing themselves up for this year and there is a lot of stress and high pressure involved and for all that to just dissipate is very difficult.

“But for me personally, I want to try and help as best I can and it is quite nice to be able to do that.

"One of the things that people seem to be struggling with is that feeling of powerlessness where they can’t do anything. 

"I’m lucky to have the skill-set to help fight what is going on and that is a positive that I’m taking.

"Obviously table tennis has completely taken a back seat now and sport has as well but it will always be there for me so I’ll keep it in mind for when this blows over.

"But for now we just need to focus on making sure everyone stays healthy and looking after each other."

Daybell competes in the TT6-10 category, which is a standing class.

There have been more than 17,000 reported coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom, including more than 1,000 deaths.