A second person who attended the anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne has tested positive to COVID-19, and was likely to have been infectious while at the demonstration.
Earlier this week, the ABC reported that a person had been hospitalised after attending Wednesday’s violent anti-lockdown rally at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne’s CBD.
COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed the case was still in hospital and contact tracing is underway, while also alerting to a second protester testing positive.
“We’re also aware that there is an individual in Geelong who was at that protest who has also turned positive, so there’s another little flurry of activity going on there,” he said.
The man, who is aged in his 30s, was part of Friday’s case numbers, according to Weimar.
“I’m not sure which day he attended but again … the protests are not immune from COVID,” he said on Sunday.
The protester is unlikely to have caught the virus at the rally, but is likely to have been infectious while attending.
“Protests are not immune from those transmission risks and we now have at least two individuals we’re aware of, both of whom tested positive … both of whom were at the protest and that would have been a risk to those around them,” Weimar said.
“If you’re going to hang around in a crowd of 500 people, then if there are COVID-positive people there … then this is where you’re going to see some spread”.
Earlier this week, Victoria Police also reported that several of their officers who took part in the Melbourne protest operation had become close contacts.
According to The Guardian, a small number of Victorian officers were identified as close contacts to a man who attended the Wednesday protest, who since tested positive for COVID.
It’s unclear whether the man was infected while at the riot.
In case you missed it, what initially began as a protest by tradies angry at mandatory vaccines and a two-week shutdown of the construction industry, quickly devolved into violent riots involving anti-vaxxers and far-right extremists.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that a protester was faking being a tradie, while another protester allegedly kicked a dog, and another demonstrator attacked a journalist by throwing urine on him.
The organiser of the protests has since been charged by police.