Sajid Javid, the British Health Secretary, confirmed on Saturday that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was self-isolating, just as his administration was preparing to lift most pandemic restrictions in England. Javid is now compelled to self-isolate for 10 days under his government’s standards until a PCR test comes back negative and he no longer has symptoms.
If the state-run National Health Service issues orders, any of his “close contacts” — potentially including those in government — would have to self-isolate as well (NHS).
On Friday, Javid was reportedly at 10 Downing Street, but spokesmen had no immediate confirmation on whether he met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who nearly died of Covid last year.
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. pic.twitter.com/NJYMg2VGzT
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) July 17, 2021
Last week, Javid stood in parliament alongside ministers, prompting one government source to tell The Telegraph, “I don’t see how half the cabinet doesn’t end up in isolation by the end of the week.”
Former health secretary Matt Hancock resigned on June 26 after it was revealed he had broken coronavirus rules during an affair with a close assistant. Javid has only been in the job since then.
Javid claimed he took a lateral flow test on Saturday morning after feeling “a little drowsy,” and the result was positive, and he was now awaiting the results of a confirming PCR test. He did, however, emphasize that he had taken both doses of the Covid vaccine and that his symptoms were “quite light.” Any member of the public who is experiencing symptoms, according to Javid, should get tested as well.
“If everyone does their part, you’re not just protecting yourself and your loved ones, but you’re also helping to protect the NHS and our way of life,” he said.
With coronavirus infections on the rise again, many scientists believe the government is endangering the NHS by scrapping most legal pandemic standards in England on Monday. The daily Covid caseload in the United Kingdom has surpassed 50,000 for the first time since mid-January, and Javid has warned that the figure might quadruple in the coming weeks.
However, the government claims that the danger can be controlled now that two-thirds of the adult population has been completely vaccinated, and many UK media outlets have nicknamed Monday “freedom day.” The opposition Liberal Democrats’ health spokesman, Munira Wilson, said Javid’s test result “shows no one is protected from this terrible virus.”
“By eliminating all limitations with cases skyrocketing, they are playing with people’s lives,” she said, urging the government to “rethink its dangerous intentions for Monday.”