Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has contracted the coronavirus and is being treated in a Brisbane hospital just days after he sat around a Cabinet table with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The development has sparked fears that the Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers, including Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, could be forced to self-isolate after being in close contact with him after he returned from the United States.
Mr Dutton is the first federal politician to test positive for COVID-19 and recently returned from an overseas work trip.
“This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat,” Mr Dutton said in a statement.
“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.
“It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into the hospital and I have complied with their advice.
“I feel fine and will provide an update in due course.”
Mr Dutton travelled to the United States in early March to meet security ministers from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance in Washington.
It’s understood he flew into Australia at the weekend before travelling on another commercial flight from Brisbane to Sydney for a Cabinet meeting.
There are also concerns for Defence Minister Marise Payne, who also travelled to the US on the same trip.
The Prime Minister is expected to release a statement shortly.