Nine Network host Richard Wilkins says he has tested positive three times for the coronavirus – despite still having no symptoms.
Wilkins was diagnosed with COVID-19 10 days ago, and has been in quarantine at home since.
“I’ve now returned a positive result three times … still can’t believe it as I still have zero symptoms,” the veteran entertainment reporter wrote on Instagram late on Tuesday.
“They tested me again today … and hopefully will return a negative result. Fingers crossed.”
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So …. I’ve now returned a positive result THREE times… still can’t believe it as I still have ZERO symptoms. They tested me again today ,.. and hopefully will return a NEGATIVE result. Fingers crossed!!! The suggestion is …. that 3 days after the last symptom …people should ‘assume’ that they’re over this thing … and ‘proceed with caution’ ! I find this totally unacceptable and irresponsible! I completely understand the fact that the last thing the Health Dept wants to do is spend days retesting people like me… and God knows that I don’t want to soak up resources… but I don’t see how I can walk out my front door until I have a clean ‘bill of health’! I know the health system is fighting a huge battle … and resources are stretched …but in clear conscience … I can’t put others at risk … until I’m assured that I’m not POSITIVE anymore ! Love to all RW XX
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Richard Wilkins, 65, had his first positive coronavirus test after meeting and interviewing Hollywood star Rita Wilson in early March. Wilson and her movie star husband, Tom Hanks, are still in quarantine on the Gold Coast after their own confirmed infections.
The Today Extra host also criticised the government’s “irresponsible” stance on testing asymptomatic coronavirus patients.
“The suggestion is that days after the last symptom, people should ‘assume’ that they’re over this thing and proceed with caution,” he wrote.
“I find this totally unacceptable and irresponsible. I completely understand the fact that the last thing the Health Department wants to do is spend days retesting people like me, and God knows that I don’t want to soak up resources.
“But I don’t see how I can walk out my front door until I have a clean bill of health. I know the health system is fighting a huge battle and resources are stretched.
“But in clear conscience … I can’t put others at risk … until I’m assured that I’m not positive anymore.”
Until this week, Australia’s policy has been to test only those people who have suspected coronavirus symptoms and have recently returned from overseas.
This is because the tests are in short supply worldwide. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has said more than a million coronavirus test kits have been ordered for Australia.
Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said on Monday night restrictions on testing were about to be relaxed.
Shortly after he revealed his positive test, a shocked Wilkins told Nine’s Today show the diagnosis was “terrifying”.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather last night when I got the call. I feel fine. I feel 100 per cent. I don’t have a sore throat, runny nose, headache. I feel terrific. Yet I contracted the thing and tested positive for it,” he said.
“Having to call my kids and tell them this stuff wasn’t much fun. The weird thing is the only thing you want to do more than anything in the world is hug your kids at a time like this.”