Watford General Hospital says they have been going through a “high volume of tests” for Covid-19.

David Muirden, 48, from Chorleywood, had to wait six days for test results of Covid-19 despite him saying he was told results should take up to 48 hours.

He returned to the UK from a skiing trip in Northern Italy on February 23 with a temperature and a dry cough, but it wasn’t until February 26 that he dialled 111 of his concerns after the Government advised people returning from that region should be tested.

The day after, he says he was told to go to Watford General Hospital with his wife for them to both be tested, while avoiding public transport.

Mr Muirden said: “The test itself took just two minutes. There was a swab that goes up your nose and a swab scraping the back of your throat, which I think they used to sample.

“But then I was there for another 20 minutes as they asked me lots of questions.”

Despite being tested at the same day, his wife received her results as negative on Monday (March 2), while he heard back on Wednesday (March 4).

The couple went into self-isolation the day before being tested, meaning that his wife was in isolation for five days, and himself for seven days.

Mr Muriden says he was “fuming” that the couple had to spend as much time as they did in isolation at home despite being told that test results would come back within 48-hours.

But the chief nurse at the hospital, Tracey Carter, has confirmed that they do warn people results could sometimes take at least five days.

For Mr Muriden, self-isolation didn’t take a toll on his job as his career in IT meant he could work from home for most of the time. But for his wife, this meant she had to take five days off work as sick leave.

He said: “For me the issue was how hard it was to get in contact with anyone for any updates.

“You ring Watford General Hospital and they recommend that you ring 111 for concerns of coronavirus.

“But then when you do that, you go to a switchboard and then you’re put on hold for nearly thirty minutes. By the end they say that you have to ring the hospital, it just goes backwards and forwards.”

The fact that he had to wait two additional days after his wife also fuelled his frustration during the wait despite testing alongside her.

But the chief nurse has explained that the pro-longed wait was due to a “high volume of tests” at the hospital.

She said: “We’re sorry that Mr Muirden had a longer wait than expected for his results.

“We are managing a very high volume of tests and are evolving our processes in the face of an ever-changing and challenging situation.

“We do warn people that it can take at least five days to receive test results and we would like to thank people for their patience.”

The father of two said that he wasn’t concerned if the virus did turn out positive as it would likely pass, but he was more worried on the possibility that his children may have then carried the virus and spread it around school.

He added: “I’m also not too worried about of the effects of coronavirus, but I’m more worried of the economic impact if things start having to temporarily close.

“This could cause a recession type crash.

“I think it’s early, but by the government restricting information about which areas are affected, it can put people who might be vulnerable to it at a bit of a risk.”

Another woman in Bushey has been tweeting her complaints over the past week, as she says she had to wait seven days for her results to come back as negative.

During the time, she also complained that it was difficult to communicate with Watford General Hospital to be issued an update.