Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed that the cause of his hospitalisation is cellulitis.
In a statement Wednesday morning, 55-year-old Hunt revealed he has the bacterial infection in his leg. The infection caused the minister to be admitted to hospital on Tuesday for overnight observation but he is expected to be discharged “in coming days”, according to his office.
On Tuesday night his office revealed the minister had been admitted to hospital with a suspected infection and was “being kept overnight for observation and is being administered antibiotics and fluid”.
His office said his condition is “not considered to be related” to the first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which the minister received Sunday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken on the ministerial duties for health and aged care in Hunt’s absence but said he is expected to be “back up on his feet” by next week.
The minster’s illness comes after a spate of health-related absences in the government, including Premier Daniel Andrews, Attorney-General Christian Porter and Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds.
Premier Andrews was rushed to hospital on Tuesday morning with several broken ribs and vertebrae damage after he slipped on wet stairs at a holiday rental on the Mornington Peninsular.
The 48-year-old was initially taken to Peninsula Private Hospital but has now been moved into a specialist trauma unit at Alfred Trauma Centre in Melbourne after specialists assessed his MRI scan. A spokesperson for the Premier said the move was a “precautionary measure” to ensure he was receiving the most appropriate care given the nature of his injuries.
Porter took leave after it was revealed that he was the Cabinet minister at the centre of a historical rape allegation, which he says “did not happen.”
While Porter said he has no plans on stepping down from his role as attorney-general, he took personal leave, saying, “I have discussed with the Prime Minister today that after speaking with my own doctor I am going to take a short period of leave to assess and hopefully improve my own mental health.” Porter has not given a date for his return to work yet.
Senator Reynolds, 55, was admitted to hospital for an existing heart condition a fortnight ago and has now extended her medical leave until April 2 after being reassessed by her cardiologist.
Her hospital stay came amid criticism of her handling of the rape allegations made by former staffer Brittany Higgins. Reynolds has apologised for holding an initial meeting with Higgins in the same office where the alleged rape occurred and said Higgins’ “welfare and her right to privacy were paramount”.
The senator’s extended absence will mean she misses the next sitting of parliament and will not appear before Senate estimates, where ministers are subject to scrutiny and interrogation.