Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is being tested for COVID-19 and staying in isolation after having a major coughing fit in the House of Representatives while delivering his statement on the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.
Frydenberg gulped water from a bottle as he tried to stop coughing and regain his voice. Later he was present in question time.
During the afternoon he issued a statement saying that while making his speech “I had a dry mouth and a cough”.
“After question time I sought the advice of the deputy Chief Medical Officer,” who had advised “that out of an abundance of caution it was prudent I be tested for COVID-19.”
“Following receipt of that advice I immediately left Parliament House to be tested and will await the result in isolation. I expect the result of my test to be provided tomorrow”.
This is the second time Frydenberg has been tested for the virus. The other was when he had flu-like symptoms after he returned from a March G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia. The result was negative.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had COVID-19 after his return from a US visit.
The ABC tweeted that Frydenberg would not be able to appear on 7.30 from isolation.
Labor Stephen Jones, shadow assistant treasurer, tweeted he hoped Frydenberg had had the app on.
The speech, which Frydenberg was able to finish, was delivered to a chamber with a limited number of appropriately distanced MPs in it.
The official medical advice is that anyone with respiratory symptoms should be tested.
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra