A BRADFORD landlord is urging people to be extra-cautious when they get cold and flu symptoms when a random test revealed he has Covid-19 despite having no symptoms.
Ronnie Hogg, who runs the Malt Kiln Inn in Undercliffe, received a home testing kit at random from the Government as part of its Covid-19 survey.
Despite feeling fine and having no symptoms, Mr Hogg dutifully carried out the test, and said he was shocked when the results came back positive.
Since then he has sent his staff home to self-isolate for two weeks, had his pub deep cleaned and closed to punters for two weeks, meaning thousands in lost income.
The 34-year-old landlord said: “I just got a random letter through from the Government with a home testing kit.
“I had none of the symptoms they tell you to look out for, no sore throat, high temperature or loss of sense of smell or taste, but being a landlord and having customers coming in regularly I thought I’d do the test anyway.
“I felt fine so I was shocked when the result came back positive. My first thought was to close the pub immediately and I sent all the staff home to self-isolate and they’ve been for tests too, and I notified track and trace.
“I’ve lost two weeks of income, but that didn’t even cross my mind when the results came through, my priority was protecting everyone else.
“I’m getting the symptoms now; I get out of breath standing up.”
Mr Hogg said tests need to be available for everyone even if they aren’t showing symptoms and thinks areas with a higher rate of infection and risk, such as around Undercliffe and Eccleshill, should be given priority for testing.
He said: “If I hadn’t been sent the test at random I probably wouldn’t have gone for a test until now that I have the main symptoms, but by then it would have been too late.
“I did the test at the start of the week so it would have been a week potentially spreading it to people in the pub.
“You won’t find a better set up pub anywhere than the Malt Kiln, everything is social distanced, we have sanitiser everywhere and regular cleaning, I even just invested in an app for table service so people don’t have to shout to the bar staff to get served.
“But if you have the virus and aren’t aware, what can you do?
“My girlfriend can’t come near me until she gets her test results back. My mum is fighting cancer at the moment and she’s been in the pub every week since it reopened, it makes me worried I could have passed it on to her.
“I think the tests need to be available to all, not giving them out until you show symptoms is just ridiculous when you can have it without even realising.
“The Government needs to do more of these random home tests too, I think they’re a good idea, and high risk areas like here need priority to bring the numbers of cases down.”