UK Health Minister Javid Tests Positive for COVID-19

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
July 17, 2021 Updated: July 17, 2021

LONDON—British health minister Sajid Javid on Saturday said he had tested positive for COVID-19, but added that his symptoms were mild.

Javid, who has been health secretary for three weeks, has backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to scrap all remaining legal coronavirus restrictions from Monday, despite a fresh surge of cases fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“This morning I tested positive for COVID,” Javid said on social media, adding he had taken a rapid lateral flow test and was awaiting confirmation from a PCR test, which needs processing in a laboratory.

“I’m waiting for my PCR result, but thankfully I have had my jabs and symptoms are mild.”

Javid tweeted on March 17 that he had received a first shot of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, posting a picture of him getting a second dose on May 16.

Real-world analysis published by Public Health England has found that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are 60 percent effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant and 92 percent effective against hospitalisation.

Britain is facing a new wave of cases of COVID-19, but Johnson and Javid claim the vaccine program has largely broken the link between COVID-19 cases and mortality, although Johnson has said that the country should reconcile itself to the prospect of more deaths from COVID.

Britain has the seventh-highest COVID-19 death toll in the world and has fully vaccinated two-thirds of adults, although it is not vaccinating children.

By Alistair Smout

The Associated Press
The Associated Press