A protester who attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne last weekend has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Victoria state government said.
The person may have been infectious while attending the June 6 march and authorities are undertaking contact tracing to ensure any close contacts are tested, according to an emailed statement. The man was wearing a mask during the protest and wasn’t showing symptoms at the time, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. The rally attracted an estimated 10,000 who protested against racism and for additional protections for Indigenous Australians.
Health officials and leaders in Australia, the U.S. and U.K. have warned that mass gatherings in the streets in support of racial equality risk inadvertently re-sparking the virus.
“We actually don’t know right now whether those rallies on the weekend may have caused outbreaks,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a radio interview on Thursday, urging people not to attend any similar protests this weekend. “By doing this, they have put the whole track back to recovery at risk and certainly any further action on this front would be absolutely unacceptable on any terms.”
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