New Health Secretary Sajid Javid tests positive for Covid-19 and has 'mild symptoms'

17 July 2021, 13:42 | Updated: 18 July 2021, 08:37

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for coronavirus just weeks after being appointed to the Cabinet position.

The minister used Twitter to tell his followers that he had contracted Covid-19 but has so far only experienced "mild" symptoms.

In a video shared on the platform, Mr Javid said he took a lateral flow test on Saturday morning after feeling "groggy" on Friday night.

Later on Saturday, the result was confirmed in a follow up.

"My positive result has now been confirmed by PCR test, so I will continue to isolate and work from home," he said.

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New Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for coronavirus
New Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Twitter

Alongside the video, he wrote in a tweet: "This morning I tested positive for Covid. I’m waiting for my PCR result, but thankfully I have had my jabs and symptoms are mild.

"Please make sure you come forward for your vaccine if you haven’t already."

The new health secretary - who assumed the Cabinet position at the end of June when Matt Hancock stepped down after being caught on camera kissing an aide - said he has been double-vaccinated.

He also thanked everyone involved in the national vaccination rollout programme and urged anyone who is yet to be jabbed to step forward and get theirs done.

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In the video, 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.

"I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in our national vaccine rollout programme, truly the best of its kind anywhere in the world.

"If you haven't had your jabs yet, please get out there and get them as soon as you can, and if, like me, you might feel a bit groggy or you think you might have come into contact with someone who is positive, please also take a lateral flow test too.

"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."

Responding to his announcement, the Liberal Democrats said it underlines the need for the government to drop its plans to end lockdown restrictions in England on Monday.

Health spokeswoman Munira Wilson said: "I really wish Sajid Javid, his team and family are well, and all those he has been in contact with over recent days, including visits.

"This shows no one is safe from this deadly virus. The government needs to rethink its reckless plans for Monday.

"By easing all restrictions with cases surging, they are experimenting with people's lives. Right now, they are pursuing a strategy of survival of the fittest, where the young and clinically vulnerable will be left defenceless."

The Bromsgrove MP's announcement comes just days before ministers prepare to go ahead with the final lifting of lockdown measures in England, despite the concerns of some scientists.

Mr Javid is seen by Tories as being keener than his predecessor on easing restrictions.

If the PCR test proves positive, he will be the latest senior government figure to contract coronavirus.

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