- The dreaded coronavirus is spreading like wildfire globally
- Australia's home affairs minister, Peter Dutton is the latest prominent personality who has tested positive for the viral disease
- More than 130,000 people have been infected by the virus and nearly 5,000 have died across the world so far
Australia's home affairs minister, Peter Dutton has tested positive for coronavirus.
"This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat," Dutton said in a statement issued on Friday, March 13.
"I immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health and was subsequently tested for COVID-19. I was advised by Queensland Health this afternoon that the test had returned positive," he added.
There are fears that the Australian prime minister may have contracted the virus too, but a spokeswoman said it was just a rumour.
A spokesman for the prime minister said chief medical officer Brendan Murphy had advised PM Morrison did not need to self-isolate.
"Only people who had close contact with the minister in the preceding 24 hours before he became the symptomatic need to self-isolate," Murphy said.
"That does not include the Prime Minister or any other members of the cabinet," the spokesman said.
Mr Dutton is a member of the national security committee of cabinet and oversees a key department in Australia's national response to COVID-19.
He is the first high profile Australian to test positive.
His ministry is responsible for the government's crisis coordination centre which manages non-health issues through the national coordination mechanism.
The group oversees planning with individual sectors including education, banking, transport, food and agriculture.
Dutton was in Washington earlier this month where he met with top U.S officials and Donald Trump's wife.
Already, Australia has ordered large public events to be shut down from next week, while advising Australians to reconsider their need to travel overseas.
More than 130,000 people have been infected by the virus and nearly 5,000 have died across the world so far.
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The wife of Canadian prime minister Sophie Trudeau is one of the prominent people who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Mrs Trudeau announced on Thursday, March 12 that she had tested positive for the viral disease and plans to remain in isolation for the next two weeks.
Already, hundreds of international flights have been cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus as many international airlines have seen bookings slump because of concerns over the viral disease.
Two of the United Kingdom’s biggest airlines have announced hundreds more flight cancellations due to the disease. While Ryanair is cutting its timetable by a quarter, British Airways has called off more than 400 journeys.
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