Queensland has posted another sharp rise in new cases of Covid-19, with 3,118 infections recorded but only one person in ICU.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard announced the jump in numbers on Friday, following on from 2,222 cases announced on Thursday.  

Only one man aged in his 50s was in ICU and did not require ventilation.  

‘Interestingly he has the delta variant of the virus rather than the Omicron variant,’ Dr Gerrard said.  

‘He is vaccinated. He has received two doses of the vaccine a few months ago so this reminds us that even if you are vaccinated it is possible to get quite sick with Covid-19. 

‘It does happen, we have known this all along.’ 

Dr Gerrard said a further 126 people were in hospital with the virus.  

‘Just reminding everybody that just because they have Covid doesn’t mean that is the cause of their admission to the hospital,’ he said. 

‘A much better indicator of the severity of the disease is the number of people that are in the intensive care unit.’

Queensland Chief Heath Officer Dr John Gerrard said changes announced after the national cabinet meeting yesterday 'should decrease the numbers waiting in queues for PCR tests in the coming weeks'

Queensland Chief Heath Officer Dr John Gerrard said changes announced after the national cabinet meeting yesterday 'should decrease the numbers waiting in queues for PCR tests in the coming weeks'

Queensland Chief Heath Officer Dr John Gerrard said changes announced after the national cabinet meeting yesterday ‘should decrease the numbers waiting in queues for PCR tests in the coming weeks’

‘It’s likely the majority of those hospitalised will have received the vaccine [and most of those hospitalised are not particularly sick. 

‘We’ve got small numbers of people with significant illness.’ 

Dr Gerrard said changes announced after the national cabinet meeting yesterday ‘should decrease the numbers waiting in queues for PCR tests in the coming weeks’.

He said the changes to how close contacts are defined were ‘critical’.

‘I think we’re going to see a rise in cases irrespective of this change,’ Dr Gerrard said. 

Yesterday Dr Gerrard warned Queenslanders they could expect ‘tens of thousands’ of cases in the state in the coming weeks.

He reminded people that if they have symptoms of Covid they should be coming forward for a PCR test, not a rapid antigen test. 

He said modelling on the capacity of Queensland hospitals suggested it would cope with a large rise in infections, given current rates of hospitalisation in this outbreak.  

Dr Gerrard was asked whether he fells confident about how the state would handle the pandemic in 2022.

‘We’re likely to see a substantial wave earlier than expected, most of us expected this to occur in May-June, so maybe that will bring the whole event a little bit further forward.

‘Whether we see further waves of infection, that’s what we don’t know. Will there be another wave if infection in the winter? 

‘But I am feeling quietly optimistic looking forward.’ 

Local residents line up at a drive-in testing centre in Brisbane, Queensland on New Year's Eve. Dr Gerrard said changes announced after the national cabinet meeting yesterday 'should decrease the numbers waiting in queues for PCR tests in the coming weeks'

Local residents line up at a drive-in testing centre in Brisbane, Queensland on New Year's Eve. Dr Gerrard said changes announced after the national cabinet meeting yesterday 'should decrease the numbers waiting in queues for PCR tests in the coming weeks'

Local residents line up at a drive-in testing centre in Brisbane, Queensland on New Year’s Eve. Dr Gerrard said changes announced after the national cabinet meeting yesterday ‘should decrease the numbers waiting in queues for PCR tests in the coming weeks’

Queensland has posted another sharp rise in new cases of Covid-19 , with 3,118 infections recorded on New Year's Eve

Queensland has posted another sharp rise in new cases of Covid-19 , with 3,118 infections recorded on New Year's Eve

Queensland has posted another sharp rise in new cases of Covid-19 , with 3,118 infections recorded on New Year’s Eve

The dominant strain of the virus in Queensland is already Omicron, Dr Gerrard said on Thursday.

‘We are not going to stop the Omicron virus. There are some things we can do to slow the spread… masks are important,’ he said.

‘The number of people we expect to be infected with this virus is very large, very large, all of us will know someone who is infected.

‘But it’s important to remember that most people don’t get critically ill, it’s a small proportion.’  

Fears are rising, however, for the spread of the virus in some remote Indigenous communities where overall vaccination rates remain low.

More than a dozen infections had been reported on Thursday Island in the past few days while Cherbourg, north-west of Brisbane, also reported 12 cases overnight.

Another two positive cases were also reported at nearby Murgon. 

The double-dose vaccination rate is below 60 per cent in Cherbourg, while 72 per cent of the 16 years and over population on Thursday Island are fully vaccinated.

Yesterday Dr Gerrard said lockdowns were not being considered even in populations where vaccination rates were well below the state average. 

‘It will depend on what the local community wants to do but we do not want to impose lockdowns on communities.’

This week the Palm Island (pictured) Aboriginal Shire Council posted a picture of a temporary morgue on its Facebook page as a grim warning that local residents are at risk of illness and death from the virus

This week the Palm Island (pictured) Aboriginal Shire Council posted a picture of a temporary morgue on its Facebook page as a grim warning that local residents are at risk of illness and death from the virus

This week the Palm Island (pictured) Aboriginal Shire Council posted a picture of a temporary morgue on its Facebook page as a grim warning that local residents are at risk of illness and death from the virus

Torres Strait Island Regional Council Mayor Phillemon Mosby said he had requested travel restrictions to Thursday Island and other Torres Strait islands be mandated by the chief health officer to prevent further incursion of the virus. 

‘Things become very serious here very quickly,’ Mr Mosby told The Cairns Post.

‘We are hoping the chief health officer, will get back to us by Friday which is New Year’s Eve.’

This week the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council posted a picture of a temporary morgue on its Facebook page as a grim warning that local residents are at risk of illness and death from the virus. 

The refrigerated storage container had been sent to the island, located 65km north-west of Townsville, by Queensland Health. 

Source: DailyMail

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