March 24, 2020
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Queensland has risen by 78, taking the total number in the State to 397.
Health Minister Steven Miles told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the State Government was investing $1.2 billion to “raise the line”, ie. increase healthcare capacity, to meet the crisis.
This money would be spent employing more doctors, nurses and paramedics as well as opening more fever clinics around the State.
Dr Miles said Queensland already had 27 public fever clinics doing testing but more would be opened.
Individual GPs were also opening private fever clinics.
He said the rate of COVID-19 testing in Queensland was the highest in Australia.
“One in four tests has been done in Queensland,” he said.
“This is among the highest rate of testing anywhere in the world.”
The extra funding would also allow Queensland Health to employ more staff at its 13-HEALTH call centre, lifting numbers from 300 seats to 1600.
Dr Miles said the helpline had received 42,000 calls related to COVID-19.
He said the State Government would also be investing more in the Royal Flying Doctor Service and LifeFlight.
Dr Miles said that people wanting to help should consider giving blood at a Red Cross centre as there was currently a shortage of donors.
UPDATE: Darling Downs Health has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in its service area.
These confirmed cases are from the Toowoomba area, and are returned travellers.
This takes the total number of cases in the Darling Downs Health area to 15.
There are six confirmed cases in the Wide Bay Health area.