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Aus Treasurer tested for COVID-19 after coughing fit in Parliament

Aus Treasurer tested for COVID-19 after coughing fit in Parliament
May 12
15:49 2020

CANBERRA: Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was tested for the novel coronavirus hours after suffering a coughing fit in Parliament on Tuesday. Frydenberg was delivering a ministerial statement on the economic impact of COVID-19 in the lower house of Parliament, the House of Representatives, when he started coughing, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a statement later in the day, Frydenberg said he was getting tested for the virus as a precaution. “Today while delivering my ministerial statement I had a dry mouth and a cough,” he said.

“After question time I sought the advice of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO). “The DCMO advised me that out of an abundance of caution it was prudent I be tested for COVID-19. “Following his advice I immediately left Parliament House to be tested and will await the result in isolation,” he added in the statement.

He expects to receive the results of the test on Wednesday.

Parliament resumed on Tuesday after being suspended indefinitely early in April to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Frydenberg was 15 minutes into his speech when he began coughing, a key symptom of the virus, into his hand, which is against the government’s official medical advice. He took several sips of water and finished the 30-minute address, which outlined the “sobering” economic fallout from the global pandemic. 

It is the second time that Frydenberg has been tested for COVID-19. He was previously tested in March after developing cold-like symptoms after returning to Australia from Saudi Arabia.

That test came back negative.

Several federal politicians have been confirmed of being infected with the virus, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and government Senators Susan McDonald and Andrew Bragg, but all have recovered since. The development comes as the number of COVID-19 cases in Australia as of Tuesday stood at 6,970, with 97 deaths.

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