‘All the ingredients’: Protests could be super-spreading event after positive case

There are fears Melbourne’s protests could become a super-spreader event after a person who attended the rallies tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Health last night confirmed that a person who attended the protests in Melbourne’s CBD on Wednesday is being treated for the virus.

A department spokesperson said public health investigations were underway and has urged anyone who attended the protests and experienced a COVID-19 symptom should get tested immediately.

Hundreds protested in Melbourne this week, including at the Shrine of Remembrance on Wednesday.. (Getty)

“We are urging protestors to get tested should they experience COVID-like symptoms, no matter how mild,” the spokesperson said.

The case of COVID-19 will be included in this morning’s case numbers.

Infectious diseases expert Robert Booy told Today the protests had all the makings of a super-spreading gathering.

“Crowding,
running, shouting. Many without masks. Most unvaccinated,” Professor Booy said.

“There is all the ingredients, apart from the fact they have got the ventilation of being outside, but all the other ingredients of a real problem and a spreading event.”

Up to 1000 protesters took the streets of Melbourne’s CBD on Wednesday, when the positive case attended, after thousands gathered in the city to protest on Tuesday.

Victoria Police arrested 215 people on Wednesday and made a further 92 arrests yesterday, despite a far quieter and more relaxed day of demonstrations.

It marked the fourth day of protests over a push to scrap mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the construction industry and more demonstrations are expected today.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp condemned the attacks on health workers and police.

“It has been a disgrace, their behaviour is disgusting,” she told Today.

“They are rioters. They are not protesters.

“They don’t have a cause other than their own self-interest.”

It comes after Victoria recorded its highest ever daily tally of COVID-19 cases yesterday, with 766 new infections.

Arrests made as police rove Melbourne in force

On Tuesday, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Patton said the thousands of “selfish individuals” who protested had all placed themselves and others at risk of contracting COVID-19.

Premier Daniel Andrews also condemned protesters who breached the stay-at-home directions.

“We have come too far to turn back now. Please spare a thought for our healthcare workers who are working such long hours looking after patients, many who are struggling to breathe,” Mr Andrews said.

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