U.K.'s Javid Gets Covid Days Before England to End Virus Curbs

Health

Bloomberg 17 July, 2021 - 11:38am 38 views

Health Secretary Sajid Javid tests positive for Covid

BBC News 17 July, 2021 - 12:11pm

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

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

Meanwhile, England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, has warned of a "bumpy winter" ahead.

It comes as the UK recorded more than 50,000 daily cases for the second day running, days before almost all legal restrictions on social contact are lifted in England on Monday.

There were 54,674 cases - following 51,870 new cases on Friday - with 41 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

The last time cases exceeded 50,000 was in 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 feel groggy or come into contact with someone who is positive should take a lateral flow test.

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.

Mr Javid previously tweeted that he had received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

A Public Health England study found two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was 60% effective at stopping symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, which is now dominant across the UK. Two jabs of the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective.

A separate analysis from PHE found the vaccines were highly effective against preventing hospitalisations from the same variant, with two doses of the Pfizer jab 96% effective and the AstraZeneca jab 92%.

England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, said vaccines were not 100% effective but were likely to have saved about 30,000 lives in the UK.

He told the BBC: "We still need to keep going with these vaccines because they've completely changed the landscape in terms of the numbers of people going into hospital and, very much so, the numbers of people dying. They're still a massive success."

Lateral flow tests provide a quick result, using a device similar to a pregnancy test and are intended for use in those without symptoms, according to the NHS. PCR tests are mainly used when people have coronavirus symptoms or have already had a positive lateral flow result, and are sent to laboratories to be checked. The NHS suggests people do a lateral flow test twice a week to check if they have the virus.

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 was a danger that England may have to go back into lockdown in the autumn if hospitalisation rates continued to increase during the summer.

Mr Hunt, a former health secretary, said the situation facing the NHS was "very serious".

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

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.

Prof Van-Tam warned the pandemic would carry on for a while and "there will be further twists and turns".

He added: "This is going to be a bumpy winter at times but, providing people don't tear the pants out of it and they go in a cautious, steady, gradual way, one hopes we'll be OK."

Crews scramble to reach victims of deadly floods in Germany and Belgium, where hundreds are missing.

15 sayings from around the world

Sajid Javid, health secretary, tests positive for Covid

Guardian News 17 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

Health secretary Sajid Javid announces positive Covid test

The Independent 17 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid tests positive for COVID-19

Sky News Australia 17 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

Sajid Javid tests positive for Covid-19 despite having had both jabs

Daily Mail 17 July, 2021 - 07:48am

By Mark Duell and Joe Davies For Mailonline

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for Covid despite having had both vaccinations, he revealed today.

The 51-year-old Tweeted: '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.'

Mr Javid had his first Oxford-AstraZeneca jab on March 17 and was given a follow up dose on May 16.

Scientists have always said vaccines are not 100 per cent effective at preventing Covid transmission — the main purpose of jabs is to reduce severe illness and prevent death.

He tested positive for the virus on a rapid lateral flow test and is waiting for a result on a more accurate PCR test.

The Health Secretary said he took the test after feeling groggy this morning but his symptoms are otherwise 'very mild' so far.

Well-wishers flocked to social media to bid Mr Javid a speedy recovery, including MPs Angela Richardson and Karl Turner and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

His positive test came amid fears around the Beta variant that originated in South Africa, with scientists concerned the mutant strain could become more prevalent because of its resistance to the AstraZeneca jab.

SAGE member Professor John Edmunds today said the variant 'has always been a threat to us', with experts worried by its rapid spread in France.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid revealed in a video today that he has tested positive for Covid-19

Mr Javid had his first Oxford-AstraZeneca jab on March 17 (left) and was given a follow up dose on May 16 (right)

Britons double-jabbed with the AstraZeneca vaccine may be three times more likely to get symptoms of the virus than those who got Pfizer and Moderna, according to SAGE figures.

Scientists at Imperial College London estimate two doses of AstraZeneca's jab is 55 per cent effective at blocking symptoms of the Indian 'Delta' variant.  

But the efficacy figure for two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna is thought to be in the region of 85 per cent, they say.

It means that for 100 unvaccinated people who developed symptomatic Covid, 45 would have been expected to have developed tell-tale signs of the illness had they been given two doses of AstraZeneca's jab.

Just 15 people would have been struck down with symptoms for Pfizer or Moderna, according to the Imperial team, whose estimates were made in June. 

The figures are the latest blow to the jab, after it was revealed by researchers today that elderly people who get that vaccine are less likely to have antibodies than those who had Pfizer. 

But estimates from other universities found that the Pfizer and Moderna jabs are only slightly more effective than the Oxford injection. 

Speaking in a video, the Health Secretary said: 'I just wanted to inform you all that I have tested positive for Covid.

'I was feeling a bit groggy last night so I took a lateral flow test this morning and it’s come back 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 doses of the vaccine and so far my symptoms are very mild.

'And I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that’s been involved in our national vaccine rollout programme, truly the best of its kind anywhere in the world.' 

He added: '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 might has tested positive, please take a lateral flow test too.

'If everyone plays their part, you’re not only protecting yourselves and your loved ones but you’re also safeguarding he NHS and helping to preserve our way of life.'

Mr Javid was only appointed to the post last month following the resignation of Matt Hancock after CCTV footage emerged showing him kissing an aide in his office in breach of social-distancing rules. 

Around 1.8million people were asked to self-isolate last week in England, data suggests. That includes 194,000 people who tested positive, 520,000 who were 'pinged' by the app, almost 340,000 who were contacted directly by Test and Trace, and 750,000 schoolchildren 

Up to 1million people were asked to self-isolate last week, data suggests. But that figure could hit 5.6million by the end of the month, if cases spiral by 75 per cent every week (right), according to MailOnline analysis. Separate projections based on a growth rate of 40 per cent - similar to what Test and Trace reported last week - still says the number of people self-isolating could hit 3million a week. But the true figure will be much lower because many people who are told to self-isolate end up testing positive, and some people will be flagged down by both NHS Test and Trace and the app

In a more positive sign, SAGE today estimated England's R rate is between 1.2 and 1.4, down from last week's figure of between 1.2 and 1.5

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The new Health Secretary is seen by Tories as being noticeably keener than his predecessor on easing restrictions.

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

Boris Johnson and Mr Hancock both succumbed 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.

Politicians and members of the public wished the Health Secretary a quick recovery on social media.

Mr Khan said: 'Sorry to read this, but pleased to hear the difference having both jabs can make. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery.' 

Ms Richardson Tweeted: 'Hope you feel better soon. Glad to hear your symptoms are mild.'

And Mr Turner said: 'Sorry to hear this Saj, hope you stay feeling well.'

Mr Javid's positive test comes after Professor Edmunds this morning warned the Beta variant may become more dominant in the UK because of its resistance to the AstraZeneca vaccine — which the majority of the UK have had.

Professor Edmunds said that although the South African variant is already in the UK, there are fears it is better at defeating the Astrazeneca vaccine and that it could become more prevalent with increasing vaccination.

He said: 'As the population here becomes more and more immune, the conditions are right then for the Beta variant to get an advantage, so I can understand the concern.

'Of the variants that are out there and are known about, that one has always been a threat to us. There is some good evidence from South Africa that it can evade the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine more efficiently.'

Trying to make out his symptoms are mild because h...

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