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Half of cabinet ‘will be in isolation’ after Sajid Javid tests positive

No 10 did not comment on reports Sajid Javid met the Prime Minister on Friday (Picture: Reuters/Getty)

More senior ministers could join Sajid Javid in isolating at home next week as fears of a Downing Street ‘pingdemic’ loom.

The Health Secretary, 51, revealed this morning that he had tested positive for Covid-19, claiming he was only suffering ‘mild symptoms’ as he is fully vaccinated.

He made his announcement having only received results for a lateral flow test, but this evening, a more reliable PCR test confirmed he had the virus.

As a result, the NHS Test and Trace system will begin the process of tracking down his recent close contacts and telling them to self-isolate.

A potentially embarrassing episode awaits the Government if cabinet members are ‘pinged’ by the Covid app and made to quarantine, with a swathe of restrictions ending on Monday.

There was no immediate comment from No 10 on reports that Javid met Boris Johnson in Downing Street on Friday.

It raises the prospect that the Prime Minister may have to spend so-called ‘Freedom Day’ in isolation.

The new Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Mr Javid spoke in parliament to MPs on Monday and opened a debate on Wednesday (Picture: PA)
The new Health Secretary revealed he tested positive on Saturday morning (Picture: Sajid Javid/Twitter)

Javid has been working from his office at the Department of Health in Whitehall and was in the Commons chamber three times in the past week.

On Monday he delivered a statement on lifting lockdown, asking MPs: ‘If not now, when?’

The following day he was answering health and social care questions. Javid also visited a residential care home in Streatham, south London.

On Wednesday he opened the second reading debate on the Health and Social Care Bill.

Others Javid may have come into close contact with include Metropolitan Police protection officers who accompany him and departmental staff.

A government source told the Telegraph: ‘I don’t see how half the cabinet doesn’t end up in isolation by the end of the week.’

His positive lateral flow test meant that Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick had to be drafted in to replace him in a series of broadcast interviews with the Sunday morning politics shows.

Javid was appointed last month after Matt Hancock resigned when CCTV footage emerged showing him kissing an aide in his office in breach of social distancing rules.

Since taking up the post he has been more hawkish about easing restrictions.


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