UK Minister of Health tests positive for COVID-19 – Channels Television
British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Saturday he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was self-isolating – just as his government was preparing to drop most pandemic restrictions in England .
Under his government’s rules, Javid is now required to self-isolate for 10 days unless a PCR test is negative and he is no longer showing symptoms.
Any of his “close contacts” – including potentially other members of government – should also isolate themselves if given instructions from the state-run National Health Service (NHS).
Javid was reportedly at 10 Downing Street on Friday, but there was no immediate comment from spokespersons as to whether he met face to face with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who nearly died of Covid last year .
Javid also appeared alongside ministers in parliament last week, and a government source told The Telegraph: “I don’t see how half of the cabinet wouldn’t find themselves isolated by the end of the week.”
Javid has only been in office since June 26, when former Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigned following revelations he violated coronavirus restrictions during an affair with a close associate.
After feeling “a little groggy,” Javid said he took a lateral flow test on Saturday morning which came back positive, and is now awaiting the result of a confirmatory PCR test.
But he stressed that he had received both doses of a Covid vaccine and that his symptoms were “very mild”.
Javid said any member of the public experiencing symptoms should also be tested.
“If everyone plays their part, you are not only protecting yourself and your loved ones, but you are also protecting the NHS and helping to preserve our way of life,” he said.
However, with the resurgence of coronavirus cases, many scientists say the government is endangering the NHS with its plan on Monday to remove most legal pandemic requirements in England.
For the first time since mid-January, Britain’s daily number of Covid cases now exceeds 50,000, and Javid has warned that figure could double in the coming weeks.
But the government insists that with two-thirds of the adult population now fully vaccinated, the risk can be managed, and Monday has been dubbed “freedom day” by many British media outlets.
Munira Wilson, health spokesperson for the opposition Liberal Democrats, said Javid’s test result “shows that no one is safe from this deadly virus.”
Urging the government “to rethink its reckless plans for Monday,” she said: “By relaxing all restrictions with the increase in cases, they are experimenting with people’s lives.”