Australia’s minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, who last week met with Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, said he had contracted the new coronavirus.
Mr. Dutton, a hard-line conservative and former police officer who has been relatively quiet in the midst of the outbreak, said on Twitter on Friday that he tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.
“I feel fine and will provide an update in due course,” he wrote.
Last week, Mr. Dutton met with Ms. Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr in Washington.
Mr. Dutton is the latest in a string of foreign dignitaries who have met with associates of Mr. Trump in recent days, only to later learn they had been infected.
Yesterday 🇦🇺 Home Affairs @PeterDutton_MP joins @IvankaTrump, Attorney General Barr & our five eyes partners 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇨🇦🇳🇿 to fight online child exploitation. We heard from 9 brave survivors & announced principles that technology companies should implement to protect children online pic.twitter.com/3ifeJnGJPI
— Australia in the US 🇦🇺🇺🇸 (@AusintheUS) March 6, 2020
The Australian government announced that starting Monday all events with 500 people or more will effectively be banned. On Thursday, the actor Tom Hanks tested positive for the virus in Australia.
The volley of developments suggests Australia may be moving into a more aggressive phase of contagion, even as officials roll out an economic stimulus package and continue to argue that a crisis has not yet arrived.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that isolation and the tracing of contacts have been shown to slow the spread of the virus. “And that’s why Australia right now is in a position where we have low rates of this virus and the number of cases that have presented. But we’ve always known that the number of cases will rise.”
The call for large events to be canceled brought an end to the Australia Grand Prix, a Formula One motor race, along with other major cultural and sporting events.