COVID-19 restrictions are being reimplemented in Queensland due to a recent surge in cases. What will the other states do?
The Queensland premier has stated that the COVID-19 alert level will rise from green to amber with the state’s fourth pandemic wave underway.
- Queensland is implementing new COVID-19 restrictions.
- Other states and territories are experiencing rising numbers.
- Some health professionals are calling for other states and territories to follow suit and also implement restrictions.
The citizens of Queensland are once again being advised to wear face masks as the state is expected to soon enter its fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, over 22,761 new cases have been reported since the start of October with Hospitalizations doubling to 205 following the last week and 73 people succumbing to death.
On Thursday the virus alert levels were raised from green to amber by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk meaning that people are recommended to wear face masks when they are both outside and indoors where they cannot socially distance themselves when they are in healthcare facilities and around older or vulnerable people.
Along with this people are also being advised to take rapid antigen tests once every two days to ensure no one in their household has the virus. The 4th wave of the virus is hoped to be a “short and sharp” one with it reaching its peak within four to six weeks and hopefully passing its worst stage before Christmas.
Currently, Queensland has a vaccination rate of 91.5% but regardless the Health Minister, Yvette D’Ath, is still urging people to receive their booster shots for extra precaution against the infection and the Queensland citizens who are extremely vulnerable can also be eligible to receive COVID-19 antivirals along with the vaccination.
The Chief Health Officer (CHO) Dr. John Gerrard has stated that the “Shape of this particular wave is difficult to predict” and with the majority population having immunity due to vaccinations the wave is expected to be short and sharp with its worst ending before Christmas. Moreover, although the parliament had revoked the CHOs power to order the state borders shutdown, lockdown cities, or mandate vaccines for the general public last month he still has the authority to isolate infected people and make wearing face masks and being vaccinated mandatory in health facilities for a period of 12 months.
Will other states follow?
The chair of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of South Australia, Professor Adrian Esterman made the following statement regarding the issue, “this is not just a Queensland problem”, “We are seeing this new wave happening across the country” and “As of last week, the effective reproduction number for Australia was 1.11, representing a 23-day doubling time for case numbers – just in time for Christmas.”
As such Professor Esterman said that all other states should follow in Queensland’s footsteps and implement restrictions
He also said, “The onus is now on the other states and territories to follow Queensland’s lead and upgrade their health advice, and if necessary, reimpose some public health measures, like face mask advice.
“Surely, mandating face masks on public transport is not that difficult.”
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