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Australian Treasurer tested for COVID-19 after coughing fit in Parliament

Australia’s Treasurer has been tested for coronavirus hours after suffering a coughing fit in Parliament.

Josh Frydenberg was delivering a ministerial statement on the economic impact of COVID-19 in the lower house of Parliament, the House of Representatives, on Tuesday afternoon when he started coughing.



In a statement released on Tuesday evening he said he was getting tested for the virus as a precaution.


“Today while delivering my ministerial statement I had a dry mouth and a cough,” Frydenberg said.

“After question time I sought the advice of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO).


“The DCMO advised me that out of an abundance of caution it was prudent I be tested for COVID-19.


“Following the receipt of his advice I immediately left Parliament House to be tested and will await the result in isolation.”


He said he expects to receive the results of the test on Wednesday.


Frydenberg was 15 minutes into his speech when he began coughing, a key symptom of the virus, into his hand, which is against the government’s official medical advice.


He took several sips of water and finished the 30-minute address, which outlined the “sobering” economic fallout from the global pandemic.


It is the second time that Frydenberg has been tested for COVID-19.


He was previously tested in March after developing cold-like symptoms after returning to Australia from Saudi Arabia.

Several federal politicians have been confirmed of infecting the virus, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and government Senators Susan McDonald and Andrew Bragg, but all have recovered.