September 14, 2020
Health Minister Dr Steven Miles has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic has not peaked globally – despite there being no new cases to report in Queensland for the second day in a row.
“This thing isn’t over, in fact it hasn’t even peaked yet and so while sometimes it might feel like it has passed here in Queensland because we have done so well, we need to remember that globally this pandemic is still getting worse,” Dr Miles told reporters on Monday morning.
“More people are still dying.”
He said Israel, for example, had gone back into lockdown in a bid to deal with their second wave with residents not allowed to move more than 500 metres from their homes for the next three weeks.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young also emphasised it was still too early to relax.
“I am still concerned about some ongoing risk of transmission, particularly around the Ipswich area,” she said.
“I am asking people today who live in Goodna, Redbank Plains or Redbank it they have any symptoms at all, it is really, really important that they come forward and get tested.
“If you have been in those areas in the last 14 days and you have any symptoms, then get tested.
“The same message applies for the rest of the State. Any symptoms at all, it is really important that you immediately get tested. We want to find the first case in a cluster, not the 40th case because at that stage it is really hard to get on top of it.”
Dr Young said it was important to limit the number of people who get the disease as well as those who die from it.
“This is a disease that we are learning more and more about every single day,” she said.
“This is not a disease of the respiratory system. That might be how it’s transmitted in the main, but it’s not flu.
“It affects every single cell in the body and leaves long-lasting problems for different organs, whether that be the heart, the kidneys, the brains, the lungs.
“So it’s really important that we minimise the number of people who get this disease, not just the number who are going to die from it … and that’s why we have the very strict protocols we have in Queensland for quarantine.”
She believed that some people did not want to go through with what was being asked of them because they didn’t “fully understand”.
“That’s possibly a failing in getting that information out to people so (they) understand this is not the flu.
“The flu makes you sick and then a small number unfortunately die … but if you survive, you recover.
“That’s not the case with this disease. We’re seeing more and more people who get this infection don’t fully recover.
“That’s the difference and that’s what hasn’t been broadly understood in the community.”
Dr Young said it was too early to say that the latest cluster in Queensland was under control.
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Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has responded to criticism from Health Minister Dr Steven Miles at the weekend that if elected Premier, she would not take advice from Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young on border restrictions.
Mrs Frecklington said the LNP “supports strong borders and Queenslanders should ignore Labor’s election rhetoric”.
“The LNP was the first party to call for border restrictions on Victoria when that State lost control of the virus, ” she said.
“We have to have strong borders to protect Queenslanders, but we need consistency, compassion and common sense, too.”