Queensland sees spike in COVID-19 cases, reporting 6,781 infections

Queensland recorded another peak in COVID-19[female[feminine cases and hospitalizations, reporting 6,781 new infections overnight.

That’s a jump from yesterday after the state recorded 5,699 infections.

More than 29,000 Queenslanders have been tested in the past 24 hours, and there are now more than 32,000 active cases in the state.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr John Gerrard said the “real number” of cases in the state is “significantly higher” than the number today.

There are 265 people hospitalized, which is an increase from yesterday when there were 170 people hospitalized.

Dr Gerrard said there were still only 10 people in intensive care.

“We know that number will increase in the coming weeks,” he said.

More than 17,000 people are receiving care for COVID-19 at home, said Dr. Gerrard.

Prime Minister Annastacia Palaczszuk said queues at state testing centers continued to grow and rapid antigen tests were also hard to come by.

Queensland has seen another significant spike in COVID-19 cases. (9News)

Dr Gerrard said only people with symptoms, those who have had a positive rapid antigen test or close contacts should undergo PCR testing, as the lines for testing continue to grow today. hui.

Most people who catch Omicron will experience mild symptoms, he said.

“What I am suggesting to you is that if you are sick with these symptoms just assume it is COVID-19 and stay home.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the number of healthcare workers now falling ill with COVID was putting pressure on testing centers and hospitals.

Some testing clinics have reduced their capacity by 50%, she said.

Dr Gerrard also cautioned against calling Triple Zero unless it was an emergency.

He said he had heard reports of people who had just been diagnosed with COVID-19 with mild symptoms calling for Triple Zero.

“This is really a problem in a lot of our emergency services,” he said.

Calls for free rapid antigen tests for vulnerable people

Ms Palaszczuk is pushing for the Commonwealth to make rapid antigen testing free for at least retirees and health care card holders.

The Queensland government has ordered 18 million RATs, some of which would be distributed to PCR testing sites, she said.

“I really stepped into the (health) department and said ‘provide myself with as many tests as possible.”

Other states and territories were increasing their own orders, Ms. Palaszczuk said.

She warned that the next few weeks would be “very difficult”.

A COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit
Funding rapid antigenic testing for vulnerable people will be on the National Cabinet’s agenda today. (Flavio Brancaleone)

The Prime Minister is expected to discuss subsidizing kits for low-income people and retirees as calls from state and territory leaders mount.

Warning from the infectious disease expert

An infectious disease expert said that while COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Queensland, that doesn’t mean the state is “just letting it tear it up.”

A queue already winds its four-kilometer line at Ashgrove, spilling onto Waterworks Road, as some private clinics remain closed despite huge demand.

But Dr Paul Griffin, of the University of Queensland, said there are still steps residents can take to stem the spread of the virus.

“Just because we hear these high numbers doesn’t mean we’ve given up or people should stop doing the right thing,” Dr. Paul Griffin told Today.

“If we get the right vaccines, get people going, still focus on masks and social distancing, rely less on testing but make sure people with symptoms are positive even if they can’t undergo test, stay home away from others so they can’t transmit, maybe we won’t see the high heights that have been predicted yet. “

He said there shouldn’t be a need for a lockdown or more widespread restrictions to return.

“We have the tools to flatten the curve or reduce the numbers, and focus on the boosters,” he said.

“Obviously the longer we fight this virus upstream the better off we’ll be, and empowering people is the way to do that. “

Confusion tests trigger calls to reopen

There are calls to reopen private COVID-19 testing clinics in Queensland after people lined up for hours to be turned away.

Although the Queensland Health website said the private clinics would reopen yesterday, several centers across the state did not.

In some cases, drivers stood in line for around 10 hours before being informed that the center would not open.

Testing is overwhelmed in Queensland, with people being urged to stay home if they don’t have symptoms. (Getty)

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said yesterday some would reopen on Jan.9 and the government was seeking clarification on others.

Private laboratories are facing a staff shortage, with many being forced into isolation due to COVID-19.

Overall, residents of Queensland are urged to avoid taking a PCR test unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

A sign on the display informs the public of the requirements for face masks.

How Australia coped with the emergence of the Omicron variant

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