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Black Lives Matter Protester Tests Positive For Coronavirus After Rally

Black Lives Matter Protester Tests Positive For Coronavirus After Rally Image Getty Images

A Black Lives Matter demonstrator has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a rally in Melbourne with 10,000 other people.

He marched through the city on Saturday and developed Covid-19 symptoms 24 hours later, sparking fears of a second spike in infections.

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Authorities fear the man in his 30s could have passed the disease onto others even if he did wear a mask to the rally.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the case could be the start of a mass outbreak:

This realises our worst fears. Now we could slip back into a second wave like other countries have.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was unlikely the man caught the virus at the protest because if he had he would not be showing symptoms already. In his words:

This case is unlikely to have been acquired at the protest but we were all concerned about the possibility of transmission occurring at that protest. It’s obviously helpful that the individual wore a mask but masks are not 100 percent protection. We don’t want people gathering in groups larger than 20 in Victoria because of the risk to others. It is my strong recommendation not to go and it is the law.

Condemning the protesters, the treasurer Josh Frydenberg, said:

People shouldn’t have gathered in those numbers for those rallies. In doing so, they put the broader community’s health at risk. That was the obvious message from the medical experts about those rallies. And it was very unfortunate that they proceeded in the way that that did.

However, the demonstrators said they knew the risk attached to the rally and feel their cause is too important not to take to the street.

Contact tracing is underway and anyone who came face to face with the infected protester for 15 minutes or more will be asked to quarantine as part of the normal process.

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