Leading Australian doctor urges protesters to self-isolate for 14 days
The head of Australia’s Medical Association said people who joined Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend should self-isolate for 14 days to “be absolutely safe” and limit any potential new coronavirus outbreak linked to the rallies.
Tony Bartone, president of the AMA, told radio station 3AW that even with the current low levels of community transmission in Australia, there is still a risk of the virus spreading through large gatherings.
“In those really confined gatherings that they were attending, no matter how much hand sanitiser, how much the masks were being worn, for those periods of time there is the risk of the virus passing.”
Tens of thousands joined Black Lives Matter rallies in Sydney and other Australian cities following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minnesota, who died in police custody in May sparking protests across not only in the US, but also in many other countries around the world.
“You just need one person to have been infected in that gathering and it could be a significant outbreak occurring,” he said. “If everyone really wants to keep the rest of the community safe, anyone who attended those rallies really should stay home and keep away from the rest of the community for two weeks.”
Dr Bartone urged anyone who developed Covid-19 symptoms to get tested and warned that there was also a risk that those infected with the virus may not show any symptoms.
Andrew Cuomo, New York governor, on Sunday urged protesters to get coronavirus tests following large-scale demonstrations in the state.