Did Australia’s Black Lives Matter protests cause a spike in COVID-19 cases?

It is been more than two months because tens of 1000’s of Australians collected for Black Life Make any difference protests and the region has not experienced a big spike in COVID-19 cases joined to the gatherings. 

Regardless of powerful warnings in the guide-up, so considerably only four individuals who attended the Melbourne protest have examined positive to coronavirus and industry experts say it is unlikely they unfold it to other demonstrators.

“We’ve viewed more instances, but they really don’t look to be joined to the protests,” Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious disorders qualified at the Australian National University, explained to SBS News.

Protesters took a knee at Sydney’s Belmore Park and held a moment silence for Indigenous Australians who have died in custody.


Point out and federal wellness authorities echoed this on Monday.

The nation’s main medical officer Brendan Murphy informed reporters “we in all probability ended up fortunate to have not found significant transmission at any of these occasions”.

And Victorian main wellness officer Brett Sutton said the protests experienced not contributed to a increase in situations all over Melbourne.

“I do not believe the Black Lives Subject protest has contributed. We’re not seeing folks who’ve obviously acquired it there,” he claimed.

More than 5,000 people packed Victoria Square in Adelaide where police praised the organisers.

Extra than 5,000 folks packed Victoria Square in Adelaide, wherever law enforcement praised the organisers.


The protests ended up held on 6 June and Division of Health and fitness content claims the incubation period for COVID-19 can be up to 14 days.

Robust warnings

In the direct-up to the protests, politicians and health and fitness authorities issued sturdy warnings about the protests and instructed folks not to attend.

“Our message is very distinct that the health threats of collecting in these kinds of big numbers and in shut proximity are actual,” Primary Minister Scott Morrison explained.

Well being Minister Greg Hunt warned that “if there is somebody who is infectious in the midst of a group like that, that can have a catastrophic influence”.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann issued a person of the strongest rebukes the working day after the protests.

“I feel it is incredibly egocentric, it is exceptionally self-indulgent, and yes it does impose unneeded and unacceptable risks on to the neighborhood,” he mentioned.

‘Good news’

Professor Collignon, who has also worked for the Environment Health and fitness Firm, stated there are a quantity of explanations why a spike did not materialise.

“My presumption is the motive we have not seen [a spike] is since we have extremely minimal community transmission fees … and that it was outside,” he mentioned.

“What we obviously know from each Australia and overseas information is that being inside is a significantly larger possibility than being outside the house.”

Protesters gathered in Sydney's CBD

Protesters collected in Sydney’s CBD

Nick Baker/SBS News

“[It’s] excellent information, due to the fact it signifies furnishing neighborhood transmission rates keep low, you will find probably a lot more items we can do exterior with more men and women and likely be reasonably safe.”

Professor Collignon stated the precautions taken by protesters, these types of as sporting masks, would also have experienced a favourable effect.

But he did not say politicians and well being authorities overreacted in the guide-up to the protests.

“I was just one of the people today saying ‘I never think this is a fantastic strategy to place this sort of large crowds together’ … This is find out-as-you-go.”

A young girl holds up a sign during the Sydney protest

A younger girl with a easy message in Sydney

SBS Information: Nick Baker

He stressed even though Australia was privileged to not have a spike triggered by the protests, the nation are not able to get complacent.

“This virus is nevertheless around in Australia … It’s not extremely tough to distribute and winter is substantially extra of a possibility than summer time,” he reported.

He said it was important to exercise excellent hand cleanliness and retain social distancing any time attainable.

“And the major factor is anybody who has any respiratory signs or symptoms at all – a sore throat, a fever – do not go away dwelling, do not see other individuals … Eighty per cent of transmission is carried out by symptomatic individuals.”

Folks in Australia have to remain at minimum 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s limitations on collecting limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now extensively accessible throughout Australia. If you are dealing with cold or flu indications, organize a take a look at by contacting your medical doctor or get in touch with the Coronavirus Overall health Facts Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government’s coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is out there for download from your phone’s app store.

SBS is fully commited to informing Australia’s various communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. Information and data is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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