Cheltenham Festival staff had coronavirus symptoms while working among racegoers

Coronavirus might have infected staff at the Cheltenham Festival, it’s claimed.

The horse racing extravaganza went ahead last week despite the mounting crisis engulfing Europe.

Swathes of fans poured into the famous track before the entire sporting calendar was put on hold.

However, two staff have now revealed they’re suffering with symptoms that are associated with Covid 19.

Housemates Andrew Maclean and Scott Saunders have quarantined themselves at home after being struck down with a fever, cough and shortness of breath.

"I'm pretty certain we all have coronavirus in this house,” Maclean told The Mirror.

“I’ve never had anything like it before.

"It's the worst I have ever felt. My chest is really tight. The fever is horrendous."

It’s suggested both men sought medical advice and were told to self isolate. With the NHS short of resources, the duo haven’t been tested though.

Saunders took aim at festival organisers after the duo were told not to fret about their symptoms.

"The Jockey Club said that it could just be a common cold so not to worry, so we took their advice and came back in,” he explained.

"There were over 250,000 people there over the four days of the festival.

"They were adamant that the precautions they put in place would protect us.

"I've spoken to others who worked at the festival and they have symptoms."

The UK's chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance warned MPs earlier this week that "we simply don't have mass testing available for the population now.”

Prof Mark Woolhouse, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Edinburgh, reiterated how crucial testing could be to defeat the pandemic.

"Testing and contact tracing is critical – particularly in the early stages," he informed the BBC.

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