Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said on March 13 that he has tested positive for the deadly coronavirus after waking up with temperature and sore throat. As the confirmed cases in the country reach 160, the fatal virus has claimed over 4,900 lives worldwide. Dutton has now been admitted into the hospital while complying to the policy of Queensland Health.
The Australian government has advised citizens against mass gatherings of more than 500 people after the chief medical officer told the leaders of the Council of Australian Government (COAG) that all mass gatherings should be cancelled in the country. According to reports, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the step is a precautionary measure to minimise the impact of Coronavirus on Australian citizens' health.
Morrison also advised people against travelling overseas unless it is absolutely important. He further added that the cancellation of mass gatherings won't be extended to schools, colleges, public transports or airports. Earlier on March 11, Morrison had announced travel restrictions for foreign nationals who are in or have been through Italy, China, Iran, and South Korea. In an address to the nation on March 12, Australian Prime Minister pledged $17.6 billion support for small and medium-sized businesses in the country to prevent job losses.
Morrison said, "There’s direct cash support of up to USD 25,000 for small and medium-sized business that employ over seven million Australians, to boost their cash flow".
"We’re subsidising half the wages of 117,000 apprentices in small businesses and providing one-off USD 750 payments to more than 6 million Australians to spend in our economy now. Almost two and a half million pensioners will receive this support," he added.
As COVID-19 continues to infect political leaders, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau has also been tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Trudeau said in a tweet said that her symptoms remain mild and she will be in quarantine for time-being. Currently, the PM has also self-isolated himself and will be working from home. According to reports, Sophie underwent tests for COVID-19 illness after returning from a speaking engagement in Britain as she started showing some 'flu-like' symptoms.
The Canadian PM, in another tweet, also informed that he, however, has been feeling fine and not exhibiting any symptoms. Although, he will continue to self-isolate and work from home. He further also informed that he will be conducting all his meetings via teleconference and video.
I have some additional news to share this evening. Unfortunately, the results of Sophie’s COVID-19 test are positive. Therefore, she will be in quarantine for the time being. Her symptoms remain mild and she is taking care of herself and following the advice of our doctor.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 13, 2020