Home World Kamala Harris, US vice-president, tests Covid positive: White House

Kamala Harris, US vice-president, tests Covid positive: White House

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The White House said neither US President Joe Biden nor first lady Jill Biden were considered a “close contact” of Harris in recent days.

US vice-president Kamala Harris on Tuesday tested positive for Covid-19, the White House announced. Harris’ press secretary Kirsten Allen said the vice-president tested positive on both rapid and a PCR tests, and said she “has exhibited no symptoms.” Harris will isolate at her residence but continue to work remotely, and would only return to the White House once she tests negative for the virus.

Harris, 57, received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine weeks before taking office and a second dose just days after Inauguration Day in 2021. She received a booster shot in late October and an additional booster on April 1. Fully vaccinated and boosted people have a high degree of protection against serious illness and death from Covid-19, particularly from the most common and highly transmissible omicron variant, news agency AP reported.

The White House said neither US President Joe Biden nor first lady Jill Biden were considered a “close contact” of Harris in recent days, AP added.

Harris is the latest high-profile Democrats who have said they contracted the virus in the weeks since the White House, along with state and local governments, have relaxed mask mandates and vaccine requirements.

The development comes even as the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to maintain surveillance of coronavirus, saying the world was “blind” to how the virus is spreading because of falling testing rates.

“As many countries reduce testing, the WHO is receiving less and less information about transmission and sequencing,” director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference at the UN agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

“This makes us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution.”

(With inputs from agencies)

 



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