A senior Australian politician tested positive for the new coronavirus and entered hospital quarantine on Friday, days after returning from a meeting in Washington attended by US Attorney General William Barr.
“This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat,” said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, an influential member of the government and a key architect of Australia’s controversial immigration laws.
“It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice.” Dutton said he feels “fine” but his diagnosis will raise concerns about whether other members of the cabinet and Prime Minister Scott Morrison may have been infected.
It is not yet known when Dutton contracted the virus.
He recently returned from the United States.
Dutton was in Washington a week ago for a meeting with members of the FiveEyes intelligence alliance — Australia, the United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.
His counterparts there included US Attorney General William Barr.
Australia has seen around 184 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three fatalities.
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