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British health secretary Sajid Javid tests positive for COVID-19

British health secretary Sajid Javid arrives at the Department of Health and Social Care in London on June 28. File photo by Vickie Flores/EPA-EFE
British health secretary Sajid Javid arrives at the Department of Health and Social Care in London on June 28. File photo by Vickie Flores/EPA-EFE

July 17 (UPI) -- British health secretary Sajid Javid said Saturday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms.

He said his positive test came despite receiving two doses of vaccine against the coronavirus.

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"This morning I tested positive for Covid," Javid tweeted. "I'm waiting for my PCR result, but thankfully I have had my jabs [two COVID-19 vaccine shots] and symptoms are mild."

Javid said in a video statement attached to the tweet that he took a COVID-19 lateral flow test this morning because he felt "a bit groggy" last night, and he is now self-isolating at home.

He also took the opportunity to urge people to get the two COVID-19 vaccine shots and lateral flow test if they have been in contact with someone who has the coronavirus.

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"Please make sure you come forward for your vaccine if you haven't already," he tweeted.

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Javid's symptoms emerged a few days after he visited a care home in Streatham, south London, Sky News reported.

He became health secretary last month, replacing Matt Hancock, who resigned after a video surfaced of him breaking COVID-19 protocols by kissing departmental aide Ginea Coladengelo in his office.

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On Friday, Javid had announced that arrivals from France must continue to quarantine for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status and complete two COVID-19 tests rather than ending the quarantine requirements this weekend as initially planned.

Javid cited "current cases of the Beta variant in France," as influencing transmission risk.

"We have always been clear that we will not hesitate to take rapid action at our borders to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the gains made by our successful vaccination program," Javid said in a statement. "With restrictions lifting on Monday across the country, we will do everything we can to ensure international travel is conducted as safely as possible, and protect our borders from the threat of variants."

More than 120 scientists signed a letter to The Lancet journal this month urging the British government not to lift almost all COVID-19 restrictions on Monday -- which has been branded as "Freedom Day" -- calling the move "dangerous and premature."

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More than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday in Britain for the first time since mid-January and new daily cases passed 50,000 for the second day in a row Saturday.

Britain has reported 5.4 million cases and more than 128,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins global map of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

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