Health Secretary Sajid Javid tests positive for Covid

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Sajid Javid

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid says he has tested positive for Covid-19, but so far his symptoms are “very mild”.

Mr Javid, who said he had received both vaccine doses, took a lateral flow test after feeling a “bit groggy” on Friday night and it came back positive.

He said he is now self-isolating with family at home until he gets the results of a PCR test.

On Friday, the UK recorded more than 50,000 daily cases for the first time since mid-January.

In a video posted on his Twitter feed, Mr Javid said: “I was feeling a bit groggy last night, so I took a lateral flow test this morning and it’s come out positive, so I’m now self-isolating at home with my family until i get the results of a PCR test.

“I’m grateful that I’ve had two jabs of the vaccine and so far my symptoms are very mild.”

He urged people who had not been vaccinated yet to “get out there and get them as soon as you can”.

Mr Javid also said people who felt groggy or came into contact with someone who is positive should take a lateral flow test.

“If everyone plays their part, you’re not only protecting yourself and your loved ones but you’re also safeguarding the NHS and helping to preserve our way of life,” the health secretary added.

Mr Javid replaced Matt Hancock as health secretary less than three weeks ago after CCTV footage emerged showing his predecessor kissing a colleague in his office in breach of social-distancing rules.

Boris Johnson and Mr Hancock both caught Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, with the prime minister being admitted to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital in London after falling seriously ill.

The health secretary’s announcement comes as the government prepares to go ahead with the final lifting of lockdown restrictions in England on Monday.

Social-distancing rules will end, although government guidelines advise face coverings should still be worn in enclosed spaces such as in shops and on public transport, while pubs and bars should be table service only.

Jeremy Hunt, the chairman of the Commons health select committee, warned there is a danger that England may have to go back into lockdown in the autumn if hospitalisation rates continue to increase through the summer.

Mr Hunt, a former health secretary, said the situation facing the NHS is “very serious”.

On Friday, there were 51,870 cases recorded – the highest figure since 15 January – 49 deaths within 28 days of a positive test and 717 hospital admissions.

The seven-day average for each is up 34.9%, 57.4% and 43.4% respectively.

“The warning light on the NHS dashboard is not flashing amber, it is flashing red,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

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Mr Hunt said the way people behave as controls end will be crucial in determining the path of the pandemic over the coming months.

He pointed to the examples of Israel and the Netherlands, which have been forced to reintroduce controls despite high levels of vaccination like the UK.

His warning came as one scientist advising the government said the country could be facing a “protracted period” of rising cases running into the autumn.

Prof John Edmunds, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said new infections could reach 100,000 a day within weeks.

He said: “We are at about 50,000 (infections) a day now. The epidemic has been doubling roughly every two weeks, and so if we allow things as they are for another couple of weeks you could expect it to get to 100,000 cases a day.”

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