Mayor speaks of wife’s coronavirus test and ‘needed’ testing strategy

PUBLISHED: 16:49 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:52 28 April 2020

Mayor Arthur Coote with wife Elaine. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO.

Mayor Arthur Coote with wife Elaine. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO.

Roger King

The mayor of Saffron Walden said his wife has now been tested for Covid-19, after doctors believed their symptoms were caused by the virus.

Saffron Walden's Mayor Arthur Coote. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO.Saffron Walden's Mayor Arthur Coote. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO.

Councillor Arthur Coote, the mayor of Saffron Walden, said he went to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge together with his wife, Elaine, and she was tested for coronavirus last Tuesday and got her result on Friday the same week. It confirmed she no longer has the virus.

“She got her letter back on Friday saying she tested negative, but she hasn’t had the antibody test which tell us if she has the antibodies.”

Elaine, who is an asthma sufferer, struggled with fever and a cough for weeks – and although she is currently on steroids for treatment, the cough is persisting.

“Because of her asthma, it’s delayeded her recovery. When we are going for a walk, and she coughs to clear the airways, it’s off-putting, because you walk and people think, has she got the virus?,” Cllr Coote said.

However, the mayor says that she is mostly recovered, and although he feels completely recovered, he will never forget what he went through.

As far as he and his wife are concerned, it’s “good news” and he hopes there will soon be “good news for the whole country”.

Nonetheless, he thinks testing is crucial for the population to recover.

“I think everybody should be tested. I don’t hear about anybody being tested. You only get tested if you go into the hospital. So many people are suffering still and dying.

“If you look at Germany, their motto is to test, test, test. New Zealand, South Korea, they all test, test, test. The ones who test, test, test, have got the lowest mortality rate. They managed to make sure that everyone knows where this virus is happening and where the epicentre is.

“Other parts of the world have dealt with it [the virus] in a different way and have lost very few lives. We have lost a lot of lives. This is not local politics, but it is something that is of interest to us all.”

Cllr Coote said he wished there were efficient antibody tests available, and he would have liked one for himself and his wife too.

He said: “The antibody test is not good enough, that is what doctors and the government say. The government bought millions of them, but they are not reliable enough to be used.”

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