An Australian Black Lives Matter protester tested positive for coronavirus after demonstration
- A Black Lives Matter protester tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a demonstration in Melbourne, Australia, over the weekend.
- According to officials, it was very unlikely that the person who attended the protest acquired the virus there since the coronavirus is known to have a four- to six-day incubation period. Still, the person may have been "potentially infectious."
- Protests in solidarity with the US Black Lives Matter movement have swept across the world in the wake of George Floyd's death.
- But authorities have heightened calls for protesters to follow social distancing rules as the coronavirus continues to spread.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A Black Lives Matter protester tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a demonstration in Melbourne, Australia, over the weekend.
Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria, which has recorded eight new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours. The state's chief health officer Brett Sutton announced the new cases in a press conference on Thursday local time, saying that one of the new cases tested developed symptoms after attending a Black Lives Matter protest on June 6.
"The lesson here is that it's not over for Victoria, it's not over for Australia," he said.
According to Sutton, it was very unlikely that the person who attended the protest acquired the virus there, since the coronavirus is known to have a four to six day incubation period. Still, he said, the person may have been "potentially infectious."
Currently, Australia has varying levels of coronavirus restrictions across its six states and two territories. In Victoria, restaurants have been allowed to reopen with limited seating, and social gatherings are limited to up to 20 people. People have also been advised to maintain physical distance from others and avoid crowds.
- Police previously warned people from attending the Melbourne protests, saying that their participation was at odds with health advisories and enhanced the risk of virus transmission.
Sutton said that the latest coronavirus case stresses the importance of following current restrictions.
"The lesson about warning people not to attend applies, the directions in place that limit mass gatherings that limit gatherings of any size to 20 are for a reason. I hope that anyone who has attended that and indeed, across Victoria, who developed symptoms that are compatible with coronavirus, really need to isolate themselves, get tested, get that result back and become well before they get out and about again," he said.
Protest organisers took precautions to ensure that protesters had access to protective gear like masks and hygiene products like hand sanitiser during Saturday's demonstration.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Black Lives Matter protesters who intentionally flout coronavirus restrictions should be arrested and charged.
Countries around the world have begun protesting in solidarity with Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have swept across the US in the wake of the death of George Floyd. But authorities have heightened calls for protesters to follow social distancing rules as the coronavirus continues to spread.
- On Sunday, UK health secretary Matt Hancock said that while he supported Black Lives Matter protests happening in Britain, those who are protesting should not forget the risks associated with participating in a large gathering.
"I support very strongly the argument that is being made by those who are protesting," he told Sky News. "But the virus itself doesn't discriminate and gathering in large groups is temporarily against the rules precisely because it increases the risk of the spread of this virus."
In the US, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, said that anyone who participated in protests should "highly consider" getting tested.
"I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event," he said of ongoing protests.
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