Australia’s treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has tested positive to Covid-19, he announced late on Friday.
As the country deals with a massive rise in case numbers due to the spread of the Omicron variant, with more than 78,000 Covid cases reported in a single day on Friday, Frydenberg tweeted the news that he had joined the statistics.
“Like thousands of Australians, I tested positive today to Covid-19. I have the common symptoms and am isolating with my family,” he said.
Frydenberg is the third Morrison government cabinet minister to contract Covid, after the defence minister, Peter Dutton, recovered from Covid-19 in 2020, and the deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, in 2021. Joyce was forced to isolate in a hotel in Washington DC after his visit to the UK.
It comes as the Morrison government has been under pressure to make rapid antigen tests (RATs) available to the Australian public for free. On Thursday the prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced concession card holders would be able to get 10 RATs for free through pharmacies, but stated there was not support in national cabinet for tests to be made freely available to everyone.
National cabinet also agreed to remove the requirement for people who test positive on a RAT to go get a PCR test.
Victoria announced on Friday a new registration system for people who test positive on a RAT to become a “probable” case of Covid-19 and therefore able to get the support required while isolating for seven days. New South Wales is expected to follow suit next week.