Barack Obama tests positive for Covid-19

Former US president says he is 'feeling fine' and encourages Americans to be vaccinated

'I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise,' former president Barack Obama said on Twitter. AFP
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Former US president Barack Obama said that he has tested positive for coronavirus, though he is feeling relatively healthy.

His wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, tested negative.

“I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise,” Mr Obama said via Twitter on Sunday. “Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted.”

The former president said his diagnosis is a reminder for those in the US to be vaccinated, even as cases of coronavirus in the country have dipped.

There were about 35,000 infections reported on average over the past week, down sharply from mid-January, when that average was closer to 800,000.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention report that 75.2 per cent of US adults have been fully vaccinated and 47.7 per cent of those have received a booster shot.

The CDC relaxed its guidelines for indoor masking in late February, a move that means 72 per cent of the population now resides in communities where indoor face coverings are no longer recommended.

Mr Obama last year joined fellow former presidents George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter to encourage Americans to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Michelle and I got vaccinated against Covid-19 because we know it's the best way to get the country back up and running again — and get us back to the moments we miss,” Mr Obama said in the campaign.

Mr Obama, who turned 60 this summer, scaled back his birthday party in August because of the Delta variant surge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: March 14, 2022, 3:53 PM