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sparrow
03 Apr 20 10:18
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Date Joined: 20 Jul 02
| Topic/replies: 37,788 | Blogger: sparrow's blog
The Jockey Club, the owner of the Cheltenham Festival, has defended its decision to proceed with last month’s four-day event after Andrew Parker Bowles, the former husband of the Duchess of Cornwall, became the latest high-profile attendee to report subsequent symptoms consistent with infection by Covid-19.

The Festival opened on 10 March with at least 60,000 racegoers in attendance each afternoon, while 68,500 were at the track to see the Cheltenham Gold Cup on 13 March – four days before Boris Johnson announced extensive UK-wide lockdown measures.

As well as Parker Bowles, the comedian Lee Mack and footballer Charlie Austin are among racegoers to have subsequently reported symptoms of Covid-19 infection, along with two local men who were working at bars or restaurants at the course during the meeting.

The Guardian has also been contacted by a relative of a 65-year-old man who is currently receiving treatment in intensive care following a positive test for Covid-19. He believes he was infected during a business meeting with a contact who had been to the festival and also subsequently tested positive for the virus.

“I would say that Cheltenham should have erred on the side of caution,” his relative said. “I think they should have made their own decision and not be passing the buck.

“I understand that they were acting in accordance with government advice at the time. However, the government was subsequently criticised as well for not acting quickly enough on this. I think we’re seeing the effects in this lockdown of not acting quickly enough and what could be possible by taking stricter measures such as we are at the moment. That’s potentially going to have an effect on the number of new cases already.”The Festival’s organisers said the meeting, and several other high-profile sporting events the same week, went ahead following extensive consultation. A spokesperson said: “The Festival concluded three weeks ago and went ahead under the clear and ongoing guidance from the government and its science experts throughout, like other popular sports events at Twickenham [and] Murrayfield, 10 Premier League matches and the Uefa Champions League [between Liverpool and Atlético Madrid] at Anfield that same week.

“We promoted the latest public health advice and introduced a range of additional hygiene measures at the event, including hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers and extra wash basins.”

Sue Smith, the senior racecourse medical officer at Cheltenham, said on Thursday that “it’s simply not possible to know how and where someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 has contracted it”. Smith added: “The standards of hand wash and hygiene at the Festival were of the highest level and all measures were taken in accordance with daily updates from Public Health England.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said on Thursday that Cheltenham’s decision accorded with the measures in place on 10 March.“It is our absolute priority to protect people’s health, and our advice on coronavirus is the result of direct, continuous consultation with medical experts,” the spokesperson said. “Cheltenham Festival was operating within clear Public Health England guidance at the time.”

The decision to hold Liverpool’s game with Atlético at Anfield has been heavily criticised, particularly because Madrid was by then known to be a centre for the virus in Spain. And Cheltenham’s decision to go ahead – and the decision of 20,000 Irish people to travel over for the festival – triggered widespread anger and disbelief in Ireland last month.

“If Cheltenham was being held in Ireland I don’t think it would be on, quite frankly,” Simon Coveney, the foreign minister and tánaiste (deputy prime minister), told RTÉ’s flagship news show, Prime Time.

Media commentators and social media users went further and condemned as irresponsible those who at the start of the coronavirus outbreak trooped on to planes, ferries and trains and packed stands and pubs in the Cotswolds before returning home to potentially spread coronavirus.

“Damned if this timeless paradise of horse-iness is going to be thrown off course by some poxy little global pandemic,” said the Irish Times.

However, to date there has been just one case linked to the Festival – a man diagnosed with Covid-19 two weeks after he returned to Ireland. He has not been named and it is unclear where he became infected.
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Report foxy April 3, 2020 9:28 AM BST
Thankfully the Liverpool athletico MADRID game on the Wednesday of Cheltenham there was no risk to coved 19
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 11:44 AM BST
all part of the strategy at the time , no containment in sight as a full sports prog went ahead


till there was a uproar about herd immunity
Report madpotter April 3, 2020 12:13 PM BST
How do they know that it was caught at Cheltenham ?
Most people whom went to Cheltenham would of been from the South West (apart from the Irish). Currently the South West has the lowest virus rate that we know of.

I would start looking at the tube and national transport links before blaming Cheltenham
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 12:17 PM BST
they don't need to know , that's not how media works

they just need them to have gone ahead , and down the line there will be the biggest blame game in our history kicking of , chelt cannot escape it sadly
Report elise April 3, 2020 12:17 PM BST
there was huge debate re whether it should have been on, those that went knew the risks, it was all over the news re other countries, the uk etc and how things were developing, i doubt a single person that attended walked through the gates without having discussed it

a chap near me chose not to go, him and his 2 friends stayed home, I know several that went, none have been ill (not saying people didn't get ill there, just the risks you take)
Report isleham April 3, 2020 12:20 PM BST
Hasn't this subject been done to death all ready..it took place so move on
Report sageform April 3, 2020 2:40 PM BST
More likely to pick it up in the hotels and bars after racing I would have thought.
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 2:56 PM BST
Media wont care where or when sage sadly , only that it was on

the witchunt has already started and the further we go into the future the blacker the decision will look unfortunately

if they could turn back the clock today im sure they wouldn't have gone ahead
Report GoBallistic April 3, 2020 3:18 PM BST
You only have to spend a few seconds looking up the regional case figures to see there is no evidence of any outbreak linked to the Cheltenham Festival
Report sparrow April 3, 2020 3:23 PM BST
GoBallistic 03 Apr 20 14:18 
You only have to spend a few seconds looking up the regional case figures to see there is no evidence of any outbreak linked to the Cheltenham Festival





As well as Parker Bowles, the comedian Lee Mack and footballer Charlie Austin are among racegoers to have subsequently reported symptoms of Covid-19 infection, along with two local men who were working at bars or restaurants at the course during the meeting.

The Guardian has also been contacted by a relative of a 65-year-old man who is currently receiving treatment in intensive care following a positive test for Covid-19. He believes he was infected during a business meeting with a contact who had been to the festival and also subsequently tested positive for the virus.
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 3:31 PM BST
there were folk at the festival from all over the UK and Europe

saying it played no part is impossible to say , it certainly didn't help


Exponential growth over a week or so after could reach hundreds if not thousands
Report Whippin Piccadilly April 3, 2020 3:34 PM BST
Yeah, all of them went straight home after the festival and stayed there until this time. Ridiculous! But, hey what do you expect from the Pro EU, Pro open borders, Labour/BBC mouthpiece.
Report GoBallistic April 3, 2020 3:38 PM BST
I realise now that looking at numbers of cases per region is not going to be anywhere near as informative as reading about a few celebs saying they've got symptoms.  Clearly the 100,000+ folks who were in attendance are some sort of super-species with inbuilt immunity
Report Ramruma April 3, 2020 3:41 PM BST
Question is was there a spike in Ireland following the Festival?
Report Whippin Piccadilly April 3, 2020 3:52 PM BST
GoBallistic Laugh
Report ZEALOT April 3, 2020 3:54 PM BST
I have not watched the news or read a newspaper in over 10 years . The media is absolutely full of shyte and history is littered with falseties . I am not bothered if the world ends tomorrow .
Report ribero1 April 3, 2020 3:56 PM BST
If they had taking the other option of running behind closed doors every pub in the country would have been rammed all day,far worse scenario surely?
Report impossible123 April 3, 2020 4:05 PM BST
Of course it ought not to have taken place but, we know where the head honcho was from; bookies benefit before anything else.

The good thing is he's going!
Report know all April 3, 2020 4:08 PM BST
it went ahead because the government dithered why who knows, think it will come out why racing and football went on when the inquiry starts , we all know how wrong that dithering was now, should have stopped all sport
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 4:13 PM BST
ribero1 03 Apr 20 14:56   



If they had taking the other option of running behind closed doors every pub in the country would have been rammed all day,far worse scenario surely?



very likely , tho the opinion at the time was lets get containing this , many called for ban on events , testing , tracing , isolating etc


the strategy was the opposite and actions were minimal , even the WHO called the UK out on their dangerous tactic which are now being mocked by the likes of trump
Report ZEALOT April 3, 2020 4:15 PM BST
It was terrorism ....... Brexit..... Ebola ..... bird flu..... swine flu .....Jihadi John..... ISIS...... ETC ETC ETC

Now its this ... When this has blew over it will be something else .

I DO NOT GIVE A 2 HOOTS WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON . I AINT BOTHERED .
Report Cutter27 April 3, 2020 4:22 PM BST
But you belt out vitriol in capitals, Zealot?
Report impossible123 April 3, 2020 4:24 PM BST
I think the BHA cannot blame it on the government given a number of sport programmes had already been cancelled prior. And, if Cheltenham was run behind closed doors then Irish racegoers would not have travelled and probably connections only, but kept to the minimum. Even Ricci stated he was surprised it went ahead without any restriction.

I believe it was a business decision taken to allow Cheltenham to proceed without restriction.
Report mwnn April 3, 2020 4:31 PM BST
ZEALOT,if you ain't bothered....Why are you commenting ?
Report Cutter27 April 3, 2020 4:33 PM BST
Quite right, mwon, and the woman clips out trash in capitals, too!
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 4:40 PM BST
you have a good grasp on world events considering you havnt watched media or read paper for 10 years zealot Laugh
Report Cutter27 April 3, 2020 4:42 PM BST
The only newspaper he or she has had couldn't wipe the dirt off hisherarse, and merely smeared it around and made it a smellycutnt.
Report sageform April 3, 2020 5:21 PM BST
Anyone who had caught it at Cheltenham would be either recovering from mild symptoms or very seriously ill in hospital as we are now 3 weeks from the last day.
Report howard April 3, 2020 5:29 PM BST
madpotter03 Apr 20 11:13Joined: 25 Jul 05 | Topic/replies: 112 | Blogger: madpotter's blog
How do they know that it was caught at Cheltenham ?
Most people whom went to Cheltenham would of been from the South West (apart from the Irish). Currently the South West has the lowest virus rate that we know of.


I would have thought most English would have been from London & South and between there and Cheltenham. Populations of Bristol Exeter Plymouth hardly match if that's where you call south -west.
Report top2rated April 3, 2020 5:50 PM BST
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11816  Laugh

Was Philip Davies (Conservative MP for Shipley) at Cheltenham, I wonder?

He appears to have been the beneficiary of tickets/hospitality box on 3 days of the Festival courtesy of GVC Holdings whose brands include Ladbrokes, Coral, Sporting Bet and the Purple one (https://gvc-plc.com/about/business-overview/our-brands/).
Report sparrow April 3, 2020 5:54 PM BST
Whippin Piccadilly 03 Apr 20 14:34 
Yeah, all of them went straight home after the festival and stayed there until this time. Ridiculous! But, hey what do you expect from the Pro EU, Pro open borders, Labour/BBC mouthpiece.
GoBallistic 03 Apr 20 14:38 
I realise now that looking at numbers of cases per region is not going to be anywhere near as informative as reading about a few celebs saying they've got symptoms.  Clearly the 100,000+ folks who were in attendance are some sort of super-species with inbuilt immunity


More forum medical experts!
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 6:01 PM BST
its about Exponential growth

anyone there who had it will be now recovered at best , its who they met after , and who the people they met after met after that

Uk recorded the second highest death tally in the world , more than USA who are 5 times our population and announced 3 times the cases today that we did


Ignore the infection stats is my advice , assume its 10 times worse in reality for your area
Report sparrow April 3, 2020 6:06 PM BST
They will not accept that a number of people will have attended the meeting with the virus and no symptoms and subsequently infected others. All these figure being bandied about are worthless as even NHS staff on the front line haven't been tested.
Report casemoney April 3, 2020 6:08 PM BST
The Guardian Along with other Media need to be having a Look at the Chinese figures they have been giving out China  Coronavirus Cases:
81,620
Deaths:
3,322

PMSL

So Loads of new incinerators were going 24/7 from Mid Jan to End of February
to Dispose of 3000 Bodies

Why not pay a bit of attention to that instead of pointing fingers over here ...

If they had been on the Ball with CHINA  we would not be where we are Now ...

I would like to add that quite a few chucked in may not have been as Dead as they should
have been ....
Report sparrow April 3, 2020 6:12 PM BST
I talk about what I know from people working with the dying on a respiratory unit in this country. I leave the speculation to others.
Report unitedbiscuits April 3, 2020 6:19 PM BST
So 4 people traced back to the kettling of over one hundred thousand people.

I'd say that was a powerful argument for calling into question Govt strategy!

The danger is that we are in too deep to reverse these social distancing measures, even next year, because to do so would be to admit that the initial damage - a depression more severe than the 1930's - was a mistake.
Report casemoney April 3, 2020 6:25 PM BST
Yes I talk with People who live in China , Where up to a million Mobile Phones appear to have Stopped working ,I also Know a Nurse who is Working ICU the situation is Desperate , Sadly the
Horse is in another county ,it may take some time to get it back ...

The Media is Just adding to the Panic , This Virus will not be going away  for a Long time
The Lockdown will not stop it , Just spread the Spread  .....

HAD THE MEDIA HEADLINED WHAT WAS ACTUALLY GOING ON A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO  , AND A TRAVEL BAN
BEEN PUT IN PLACE , we would not be where we are now , London is riddled due to the tube carrying millions being allowed to keep running , Hundreds of thousand entering the country and then travelling all over .. I know where the Fingers need to pointing and it is not at Cheltenham ...
Report sparrow April 3, 2020 6:32 PM BST
I agree we should have acted earlier case and got this over and done with but people would not be convinced by what they were being told. And many people still refuse to listen and take note.
Report casemoney April 3, 2020 6:57 PM BST
Sad Your right mate , Hopefully another month will help the NHS , and perhaps some new strategy .....
Report sparrow April 3, 2020 7:00 PM BST
The vaccine is what we really need to get this over and done with.
Report the.mad.dog.man April 3, 2020 7:15 PM BST
hope the person who gave the go ahead for cheltenham to go ahead has resigned or been sacked
Report geordie1956 April 3, 2020 7:26 PM BST
the vaccine won't be with us for months
this whole strategy of lockdown is to help the NHS cope and the numbers (victims) have been really bad in recent days ...  likely to get worse over the next 7-14 days
lets hope it starts improving but can't see racing taking a chance with more bad press ... if i was to wager when it returns ... June / July
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 7:39 PM BST
the gov have no clue about any exit strategy , most countries don't tbh

only clue we have and hope is by watching countries who were ahead of us tbh but most are still early days themselves
Report chavman April 3, 2020 7:43 PM BST
the wifes hub has taken in 4 times the amount of bodies today,75% covid.theyve just got 8 new removal ambulances (holds 4 bodies) and 2 frigging luton vans (wtf)!

the normal garage area for hearses is being transformed into a refrigerated morgue.
Report the dealer April 3, 2020 7:48 PM BST
not good mate
Report chavman April 3, 2020 8:10 PM BST
shes been full hazmat suit when removing from houses or hospitals.

she finds out next week if she gets the operations manager job (organising people for the day),if not shes going off for 12 weeks as she has copd.

the government are saying the hospitals dont have to bodybag before they pick them up.far too dangerous...are they waiting for a surge of funeral ops dying before they change policy DevilDevil
Report elise April 3, 2020 8:17 PM BST
how many deaths you reckon they will get chav?
Report chavman April 3, 2020 8:25 PM BST
who knows....too many variables....people abiding by lockdown/social distancing until some sort of drug to suppress it can be found is the only thing we know.
Report elise April 3, 2020 8:27 PM BST
stay safe, likewise the other half, cr@p times
Report the dealer April 3, 2020 8:30 PM BST
echo that and keep the mrs safe
Report RothmanMike April 3, 2020 8:41 PM BST
Change of subject.
Does anyone have any good news to share with us.
Report elise April 3, 2020 8:48 PM BST
it's the weekend
Report hello :-) April 3, 2020 8:49 PM BST
yes , you and i are ok mike Happy

a vaccine could be ready for winter

social distancing is cutting deaths

new hospitals are up and running meaning better care for the ill

testing kits are priority and will be available en mass soon enough enabling the start of a return to normal life

air polloution is regressing

mike Ashley is partron saint of cnts


anyone feel free to add Happy
Report chavman April 3, 2020 8:50 PM BST
yeah ibuprofen readily available to take 20 minutes before reading your posts mike
Report RothmanMike April 3, 2020 9:05 PM BST
Thar you go, far better now, thank you.
Report RothmanMike April 3, 2020 9:13 PM BST
And Chavprick, Prince Philip is still alive so that's good ,eh.
Report chavman April 3, 2020 9:18 PM BST
not readily proven mike,although no press release would neither contradict nor upstand this.

you sir,will however be a 100% confirmed nauseous ballache 24/7.
Report RothmanMike April 3, 2020 9:27 PM BST
More fake news from the master.
I'm out.
Report chavman April 3, 2020 9:31 PM BST
shame that.i always like your disingenuous interjections mike.
Report unitedbiscuits April 3, 2020 9:47 PM BST
They crammed 60,000 people together four days in a row and the result is four cases of covid19.

Half a million at the football at the week-end: another 20 cases?


60 million people are now keeping 2 metres apart in public.

I'm sorry for the 4,000 odd people who have died of coronavirus in the UK but, let's face it, most would have carked it in the next three years anyway and it is not as though, by all of us keeping indoors, they would have had eternal life.


What am I missing?
Report Facts April 4, 2020 10:39 AM BST
Ramruma    03 Apr 20 14:41 
Question is was there a spike in Ireland following the Festival?


No. Indeed they continued to race in Ireland after Cheltenham.
Report firstimevisor April 4, 2020 11:03 AM BST
The virus is not exactly spreading like wildfire in Ireland yet. Just over 4000 positive tests as of last night. 120 cv deaths and only 13 of these were in hospitals so the vast majority are in nursing homes.The Irish hospitals have never been as quiet as they are right now.
20,000 estimated to have travelled from Ireland to Cheltenham and absolutely no evidence to suggest that they pose any greater risk to society.
Report sageform April 4, 2020 11:30 AM BST
Plenty of people from Somerset went to Cheltenham but we are one of the 3 lowest counties for reported cases -just 62 so far- and although it is going up by 5 or 6 a day, the total is cumulative and those recovering are not taken off of the total so it can never go down.
Report ImSoLuckyLucky! April 4, 2020 3:51 PM BST
Guardian are reporting a big spike in the Midlands-bigger than London
But only 17 deaths in the south west
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