Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has finally been released from self-isolation, after testing positive to COVID-19 last month.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has finally been released from self-isolation, after testing positive to COVID-19 last month.

Dutton was in isolation for 25 days

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has finally been released from self-isolation, after testing positive to the potentially-deadly coronavirus nearly a month ago.

Mr Dutton was in isolation for 25 days after becoming infected with COVID-19, telling 2GB he suffered fluctuating symptoms throughout.

"This is a much more serious disease than people realise," he told host Ray Hadley on this morning's show.

"I had flu-like symptoms to start with, then felt on top of the world within four or five days, but it's the second week … it sneaks back up on you."

Health professionals have warned the second week a person is infected with the virus is when they either start to get better or take a turn for the worst - highlighted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's current condition after testing positive to COVID-19 last week.

Known as the "second-week crash", director of critical-care research at Montefiore Medical Centre, Michelle Gong, said in a Q&A with the Journal of the American Medical Association COVID-19 patients often seem to be "doing OK, and then at around the five-to-seven day mark they start to get worse and then develop respiratory failure".

The onset, she said, "can be very abrupt".

"It sneaks back up on you," Mr Dutton said of his own experience.

"If you're still working hard and your body's run down a bit, I think it lingers and it comes back and it can come back in force. I went to bed one night thinking if it's any worse in the morning, just in terms of the labouring in my breathing, then I'd go back to hospital."

Mr Dutton said Australians shouldn't underestimate the virus or "be complacent", saying it wasn't going away in "the next month or two" but would stick around "for a period of time".

"If you think that going to the beach - that you can get a backstreet park to the beach - don't do it," he said, referring to people who might choose to ignore the government's pleas to Australians to stay home over the Easter long weekend.

"If authorities think it's safe to lift the restrictions at some stage, they'll do that."

Mr Dutton was diagnosed with coronavirus on March 13, just days after he met with Ivanka Trump and multiple high-ranking officials in the US.

"This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat," he said in a statement at the time, announcing he'd tested positive to the virus.

"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."

He was discharged from hospital on March 17, when he went into self-isolation at home, and has kept a relatively low profile since.

Originally published as Dutton was in isolation for 25 days


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