Specialist cleaners in hazmat suits have disinfected parliamentary offices, after home affairs minister Peter Dutton tested positive for coronavirus.
The teams were seen deep cleaning offices in Sydney, despite the government insisting Mr Dutton had not been contagious during meetings this week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, alongside numerous cabinet ministers, met with Mr Dutton on Tuesday to discuss the budget – just three days before his diagnosis.
But Mr Morrison’s office has insisted neither he nor any other member of the cabinet needs to self-isolate.
On Saturday night, treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced he was also tested for the disease but it came back negative.
Cleaners (pictured) were seen cleaning parliamentary offices in Sydney on Saturday, after the home affairs minister tested positive for coronavirus
Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton (pictured in February) has tested positive for coronavirus
Mr Dutton became the first Australian politician to be diagnosed with deadly respiratory infection on Friday, as the number of cases nationwide rose to 227.
Decked out in full hazmat gear, the cleaning teams were seen on Saturday cleaning surfaces and disposing of potentially contaminated materials.
The offices being cleaned were the Commonwealth Parliament Offices in Sydney, where the cabinet meeting was held earlier this week.
The Liberal Party politician, 49, was admitted on Friday night, sparking fears that the entire cabinet would be forced to self-isolate.
Scott Morrison sent a tweet (pictured) on Friday evening confirming he was not going to self-isolate despite meeting with Peter Dutton on Tuesday
He said in a statement that he woke up on Friday morning with ‘a temperature and a sore throat’ but ‘feels fine’.
Mr Dutton then ‘immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health’ and submitted himself for a test, which came back positive.
The politician had recently returned from a work trip to the United States.
He met with officials from the US, UK and Canada in Washington on March 6 as part of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing programme.
People wear face masks in front of the Sydney Opera House on Friday, as the number of cases in Australia soared to 201
Australia’s number of coronavirus cases rose to 227 on Saturday, with 112 of those being in New South Wales
Speaking on Saturday on Sydney radio station 2GB, he confirmed he had not been a risk to the Australian cabinet nor those he met in the US – including President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) is seen on Friday, just three days after his cabinet meeting with Mr Dutton
‘[Queensland Health’s] advice to me is that they’re concerned with people I’ve had close contact with since the morning of [Wednesday] the 11th,’ Mr Dutton explained.
‘There’s some speculation about my visit to the White House etc, but all of the medical advice says that there’s no issue in relation to that period, or even Cabinet earlier in the week, and that’s very clear.’
On Saturday, the office for Mr Frydenberg confirmed he was also tested – not in relation to Mr Dutton – and the results came back negative.
Mr Dutton confirmed that officials had discussed the matter with the White House.
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy backed Mr Dutton’s claims, saying it was ‘extremely unlikely’ he could have infected the cabinet.
‘He would have to be very unusually infectious three days before he became symptomatic,’ Professor Murphy said.
‘We have not seen anybody like that in Australia, you can’t rule out anything but in our public health rules we are pretty clear that we think it is very unlikely.’
Peter Dutton (pictured, third from right) also met with US president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka (fourth from right) during his trip overseas
‘This morning I woke up with a temperature and a sore throat,’ Mr Dutton said in a statement on Friday afternoon.
‘I immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health and was subsequently tested for Covid-19.
‘I was advised by Queensland Health this afternoon that the test had returned positive.
‘It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice.
‘I feel fine and will provide an update in due course.’
Earlier on Friday, Mr Dutton didn’t appear for his interview on the Today Show.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 227
New South Wales: 114
South Australia: 19
Western Australia: 17
Northern Territory: 1
Australian Capital Territory: 1
TOTAL CASES: 227
The show’s host Allison Langdon said the politician was suffering from a ‘stomach bug’.
He also visited a campus of Southern Cross University at Moreton Bay on Monday.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce called for parliament to be held remotely after Mr Dutton’s diagnosis.
Parliament is next due to sit on the week starting March 23.
‘If we can send millions of dollars over the internet then we can surely find a way of holding parliament over the internet,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘If any MPs have had contact with Peter Dutton they have a duty to out themselves now. It’s not about you it’s about the older people you may affect.’
Cabinet met on Tuesday to rubber stamp the $17 billion stimulus package designed to protect the fledgling economy.
‘They could all have it,’ Mr Joyce said.
A couple are seen wearing face masks as they walk around Sydney’s Circular Quay (pictured) on Saturday, as Australia recorded 227 cases of coronavirus