Tag: Dr Young

Queensland to impose border controls after recording highest daily coronavirus tally

Brisbane 4000

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will impose border controls that include travellers being placed in quarantine for two weeks after the state recorded 60 new coronavirus cases in the last day.

Key points:

  • There are now more than 300 COVID-19 cases in Queensland
  • The teachers’ union is threatening strike action if schools are not closed
  • Queensland cabinet has voted to begin border control measures

The Queensland Government will close the state’s borders beginning midnight Wednesday.

The initial stage of the restriction will force anyone entering Queensland to quarantine themselves for 14 days after arrival.

Authorities will convene in the coming days to establish how road-based restrictions can later be placed along the state’s borders.

But Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said it would be “business as usual” for those commuting between northern New South Wales and Queensland on a daily basis, even after the border closures were in place.

“We have a very close relationship with northern New South Wales — a lot of people live there and work in Queensland and vice versa,” Dr Young said.

“People in northern New South Wales come to Brisbane and the Gold Coast for everything … healthcare, shopping, everything.”

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Dr Young said the border closures were in place to stop travellers from other capital cities with high community transition rates visiting remote areas of Queensland.

“We do not want people who are currently in Sydney or in Melbourne who have been exposed to go up to the Whitsundays for instance — we’ve got no cases up there,” she said.

“We want to keep the rest of the state free of the virus as long as possible.”

Freight transport will continue as normal, both in and out of the state.

“We need to bring goods from other states into Queensland — that’s important and Queensland goods need to go from our state to other states,” Dr Young said.

“We are a massive food bowl for our nation.”

But Tweed Shire councillor Warren Polglase said people were confused and concerned about the implications.

“The Queensland Government has created a lot of uncertainty and this is not a time for uncertainty,” he said.

“Roughly 20 to 30 per cent of our population goes north to work in Queensland and about 15 to 20 per cent come from Queensland or work in Tweed.

“There’s cross-border [travel] every day for very many various trades and business people and I don’t know how it’s going to work.”

He said two of the Tweed Shire Council’s senior managers and directors lived in Queensland.

“Are they going to be quarantined once they go over and back, or how are we going to handle that?” he said.

“I think the proposal was made on the run in many ways and I think if the police are asked to police this issue I don’t think they know exactly what to do.”

‘Enough’s enough’ says teachers’ union

Ms Palaszczuk also urged people to “stay in your suburb” but remained adamant schools would stay open.

However, Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) president Kevin Bates called on the State Government to close schools by mid-week, saying he could not rule out strike action if negotiations fail.

Mr Bates said the safety of teaching staff was being put at risk.

“Governments are talking about shutting down all of the businesses apart from essential services, and yet there’s still talk about schools remaining open. Those two things are contradictory,” Mr Bates said.

Mr Bates said he appreciated that medical advice suggested it was OK to keep schools open, but said that: “We can’t see how the logic of that plays out.”

“We don’t accept that you have to have social distancing in terms of closing down parks and beaches and other things but you can have 3,000 students at a school and that is OK.

“What we are saying is, enough’s enough.”


Jeannette Young says one patient with COVID-19 is in intensive care. (ABC News)

Ms Palaszczuk urged teachers over the age of 60 or those with an underlying health condition to seek advice from their school principal about working from home.

But Mr Bates said teachers had lost faith in the “ad-hoc” approach.

“The words that we know have been used are ‘sacrificial lamb’, ‘glorified babysitters’ — that’s how they’re feeling,” he said.

Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland state schools would remain open but said parents could keep children home if they wished.

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“Parents have a choice — if they choose not to send their child to school, that can that make that choice,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“But schools will remain open.

“Also, we know that the school holidays are coming up in a couple of weeks’ time. I want to send a clear message to people to stay in your state, and stay in your suburb. There are no school holidays. It is not about packing up the car and going to the beach for a picnic or going for a swim on the beach.”

Dr Young said schools that recorded a positive case of COVID-19 would have to take their own circumstances into account when deciding whether to reopen.

“Every school has got different arrangements, so you can’t just have one process,” Dr Young said.

“Whether or not the school reopens is up to that school.”

Case tally goes past 300

A total of 319 cases have now been recorded across Queensland.

Dr Young said one patient with COVID-19 was being treated in intensive care, and described that person as “unwell”.

“They are in ICU and are ventilated. I don’t have all the specific details,” Dr Young said.

Dr Young said the sharp rise in cases underscored the importance of adhering to social-distancing measures.

Government staffer tests positive

Meanwhile, it has been revealed contact tracing is underway within a busy Government department after a public servant based in an office in the Brisbane CBD tested positive for COVID-19.

Staff within the Department of Housing and Public Works were updated on the situation in an email from department deputy director-general Trish Woolley a week ago.

“We have traced staff members who have been in contact with this staff member and invoked business continuity arrangements in our service delivery network and senior executive team to ensure we continue to manage the implications of COVID-19 on the delivery of essential services,” she said in the email.

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“It is important to remember, that as part of any trace contacting that occurs, we are not looking for people the person may have passed on the street or in a shop, as the risk in these situations is extremely low.

“The same applies for a passing interaction in an office.”

The ABC understands several staff are still working in the office, despite raising health concerns.

Surge in cases ‘justifies’ venue closures, Minister says

The previous highest daily case total for Queensland was last Thursday, when 50 new patients were announced, with another 40 on Friday.

Health Minister Steven Miles said some hospitals in Queensland had begun rescheduling non-urgent surgeries, and urged people to keep donating blood.

“That is the highest single-day figure we’ve had so far, and it justifies the strong action that the Premier and other national leaders have taken overnight to restrict people from accessing large gatherings and events,” Mr Miles said.

Last night, following a meeting with state and territory leaders, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that from midday Monday places like pubs, indoor sporting venues and churches would be closed.

Mr Miles said Queensland Health had conducted 32,000 tests for COVID-19 so far.

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(ABC News)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

Victoria’s third coronavirus case confirmed, bringing national total to nine

Melbourne 3000

Victoria’s health authorities have confirmed a visitor from Hubei province in China as the third case of coronavirus in the state, as the national total rises to nine.

Key points:

  • The third case in Victoria is a woman in her 40s who tested positive on Thursday and is now in isolation in hospital
  • Health authorities are investigating where another Chinese visitor who tested positive in Queensland may have gone while he was in Melbourne
  • There are eight suspected cases in Victoria pending test results

The woman in her 40s is in a stable condition in isolation at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, a statement from Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services said.

She tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

“The woman attended a GP and was referred to the hospital immediately,” the statement said.

“Two close contacts are being provided support and education and monitored closely for symptoms of illness.

“Further information on public exposure sites will be made available once confirmed.”

There are currently eight suspected cases in Victoria pending test results and a total of 71 negative results.

Public exposure sites in Melbourne being investigated

The announcement comes as Queensland health authorities confirm that state’s second case. Four cases have been confirmed in NSW.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said in a statement on Thursday evening a 42-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan had tested positive to the virus.

Dr Young said the woman was a member of the tour group travelling with the 44-year-old man who was Queensland’s first confirmed case on Wednesday.

The group was on Tigerair Australia flight TT566 on January 27 from Melbourne to the Gold Coast when the man first started showing symptoms.

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The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services statement said they were working closely with Commonwealth and Queensland health authorities to determine if there are were public exposure sites in Melbourne related to that case.

“All close contacts of the case have been identified and contacted,” the statement said.

“The patient was not symptomatic whilst in Melbourne, however, given recent evidence regarding potential of transmission in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset a precautionary approach is being undertaken.

“Further updates will be provided when information is available.”

What to do if you are worried

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has established a Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

National and state health authorities now recommend that anyone who has travelled in China’s Hubei province self-isolate for 14 days after leaving the province, other than when seeking individual medical care.

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(ABC News)

People who have recently travelled in other parts of China or other countries are not being asked to self-isolate at this time.

Anyone who develops symptoms of fever and breathing difficulty or cough or who have had direct contact with a confirmed case should seek medical help immediately.

Before visiting a GP or emergency department, they are advised to call ahead to advise about recent travel and symptoms.

More on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

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