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(new: positive test result also on Sunday, 1st paragraph)
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – US President Joe Biden is once again in domestic isolation, again he can only keep his appointments via video and telephone. Just a few days after his corona isolation ended, the 79-year-old tested positive for the corona virus again on both Saturday and Sunday. Presidential physician Kevin O’Connor wrote in a letter published by the White House on Saturday that it was a “relapse” that had already been observed in rare cases in patients treated with the Covid drug Paxlovid.
The US President was calm. He wrote on Twitter on Saturday: “Guys, today I tested positive for Covid again. It happens to a small minority of people. I have no symptoms but I will isolate myself for the safety of everyone around me.” Biden also posted a video showing him with his dog, Commander, on a White House balcony. He will work from home in the coming days, he feels good; he and Commander have a bit of work to do, Biden joked.
According to his doctor, Biden is still doing well. The letter from Saturday said: Biden has no symptoms. Developments are being monitored closely, but the drug Paxlovid is currently not being administered again. Because of the positive tests, Biden now has to follow strict isolation measures again.
Paxlovid is recommended for patients who are not seriously ill but are at high risk of being admitted to hospital, for example because of their age. The tablet from the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer contains two active ingredients that are intended to inhibit virus replication in the body. The fact that Covid disease can return shortly after treatment with the drug is known, but rarely happens. In such cases, the US health authority CDC recommends a return to domestic isolation for five days.
Biden only ended his corona isolation last Wednesday. His infection with the corona virus had become known the previous Thursday – after he had come through the pandemic unscathed for more than two years. According to the White House, Biden then spent five days in isolation and was treated with Paxlovid during that time. He kept his appointments via video and telephone switching.
Presidential physician O’Connor had described Biden’s course as mild, but said he had increased the test frequency because of the possibility of a relapse. At first the infection seemed to be over. Speaking in the White House garden on Wednesday, Biden said, “My symptoms were mild. I recovered quickly and I’m fine.” On his return to the Oval Office, Biden said he would continue to be “extremely diligent” in protecting those around him.
According to the White House, the US Democrat is fully vaccinated against the virus and has received two booster shots. In the past few months, however, there have been numerous cases of corona infections in his government and in his environment – also among vaccinated people. Biden belongs to the risk group because of his old age – the US President will be 80 in November. Especially with a view to the presidential election in 2024, Biden’s state of health is repeatedly the subject of discussions./trö/DP/he
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