Coronavirus: Kent skiing family wait nine days for tests

  • Published
Meyer family on holidayImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
The family returned from skiing in Italy on 24 February

A father and son who fell ill after they returned from a skiing holiday in Italy more than a fortnight ago have not been tested for coronavirus, despite self-isolating and calling 111.

Philip Meyer, from Kent, said he was told they would be swabbed at home but were still waiting for a visit.

The pair went into isolation on 2 March after developing a cough, he said.

South East Coast Ambulance (Secamb), which runs NHS 111, apologised and said tests were taking place.

Mr Meyer, from Westerham, said he returned from Italy with his wife and two sons on 24 February.

They passed through Milan airport which was in the coronavirus-affected region before the whole of Italy went into lockdown.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Philip Meyer and his son Gabriel developed coughs two days after their return

By 26 February, he and his son, Gabriel, had developed coughs.

Last Monday, the family phoned 111 and the pair went into isolation after Gabriel was sent home from school. Mr Meyer's wife and other son were not affected and told they did not need to self-isolate.

"We all immediately dropped everything, went home, called 111 and they said we needed to self-isolate, that was on the Monday, and we would definitely need a coronavirus test," Mr Meyer said.

"We weren't particularly concerned for our health because we weren't terribly ill but we were very concerned we could be spreading this."

Mr Meyer, who phoned 111 every day since then, said he was told the test had been passed to a hospital, but he didn't know which one.

He said: "It's looking more and more likely now to me that we're never going to be tested and there's no intention to test us - or if they are going to test us, there are so many people in the pipeline that there just isn't the capacity."

A Secamb spokesman later issued a statement which said: "We are sorry to hear of Mr Meyer's concerns and apologise for this delay.

"In the meantime, we have been in touch with him regarding tests being carried out for him and his family today."

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