Australia treasurer tests negative after public coughing fit

Sydney (AFP) –


Australia's treasurer Josh Frydenberg tested negative for coronavirus, after suffering a coughing fit during a speech in parliament that left him breathless and straining for water.

"Yesterday I was tested for COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution," he tweeted on Wednesday.

"This morning I received the result of the test which was negative."

Frydenberg's voice croaked as he hacked and sniffed for a few awkward moments on Tuesday while trying to inform parliament in Canberra about the economic impact the virus was having on the nation.

The episode -- as Frydenberg stood next to Prime Minister Scott Morrison -- raised fears that coronavirus may have touched the highest levels of the Australian government.