NZ First's Tracey Martin is in self-isolation and will be tested for coronavirus today after a meeting with Australian Government Minister, Peter Dutton, who has tested positive for the disease.
Last night, Australia's Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton announced he is in hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Tracey Martin, Minister for Children, was with Dutton last week at a meeting for Five Eyes partners focused on fighting online child exploitation in Washington DC.
A spokesman for Tracey Martin said the minister was in self-isolation at home in the Wairarapa as a precautionary measure.
She will be tested for Covid-19 on Saturday and expects to get the results on Sunday.
When she met Peter Dutton on Friday last week (NZ time) he had not been symptomatic.
The minister herself had no symptoms either. She had not been contacted by Dutton.
She had been attending a meeting in Washington as Minister of Internal Affairs to mark the launch of principles guiding work to crack down on child sexual exploitation.
It was the first time she had met Peter Dutton.
The spokesman said the minister did not recall shaking his hand or touching him but she had sat next to him for more than an hour.
Tracey Martin spoke to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight about the issue.
A photo from the meeting shows Martin with Dutton, Ivanka Trump, Attorney General William Barr and others was posted to Twitter today
Dutton said after he woke this morning with a fever and sore throat he took a test for Covid-19.
The Queensland Department of Health advised him of the positive test result this afternoon.
He said in a statement he was "feeling fine".
Dutton checked himself into hospital because under Queensland law, all coronavirus patients need to be hospitalised.
Sky News is reporting that Dutton attended a four-hour cabinet meeting on Tuesday and a national security meeting raising issues of whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison and cabinet colleagues would need to be tested or self-isolate.
Morrison issued a statement tonight saying that according to official medical advice, only people who had close contact with the minister in the preceding 24 hours before he became symptomatic needed to self isolate.
As the number of coronavirus cases in Australia nears 200, authorities have announced a range of significant measures to combat the outbreak.
Morrison has said all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people should not go ahead from Monday to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
He said it doesn't include schools, university lectures or people getting on public transport.
However, Morrison said he would still attend the season-opening game of his beloved Cronulla Sharks rugby league team in Sydney on Saturday night. The NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and Gold Coast Titans is also going ahead on Friday night.
Mr Morrison also said every Australian should urgently reconsider their need to travel internationally – regardless of the destination.
A total 195 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across Australia, with 92 in New South Wales, 36 in Victoria, 35 in Queensland, 12 in South Australia, 14 in Western Australia, four in Tasmania, one in the Northern Territory and one in the ACT.
Three people, aged 95, 82 and 78, have died.
The prime minister said:
– From Monday, the government is advising against any non-essential public gathering of more than 500 people. It's not a ban, but formal guidance.
– The advice doesn't extent to schools or universities. There's also no impact on the free movement of people on public transport or through airports.
– Foreign Affairs has urged Australians to avoid all non-essential international travel, regardless of their destination, age or health status.
– There's growing evidence of community transmissions of coronavirus, which is a worry for health authorities.
– Hospitals are experiencing difficulties in medical equipment supply chains, including for coronavirus testing.
– Mr Morrison's declaration that he will still go to the football tomorrow – because it's before Monday's advice begins – has raised eyebrows.
Sydney's Royal Easter Show has also been cancelled amid coronavirus fears.
Organisers made the decision this afternoon in the wake of the Government's announcement.
The show was to be held from April 3 to 14. It is the biggest annual ticketed event in Australia with 900,000 people attending in 2019.
It's only the third time the show has been cancelled, the other times were during the Spanish flu pandemic and the Great Depression.
Meanwhile, despite announcing that all public gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will still go to the footy tomorrow.
"I do still plan to go to the football on Saturday," Mr Morrison said, saying the new advice doesn't begin until Monday.
"I will be going on Saturday because I had previously planned to.
"The fact that I would still be going on Saturday speaks not just to my passion for my beloved Sharks, it might be the last game I get to go to for a long time."
– The fact that the event guidance isn't a ban has also caused surprise, given the government has legislative power.
- with news.com.au