Qld reports six virus deaths, 3750 cases

Marty Silk |

The Queensland government will ditch its daily COVID-19 briefings if the numbers of new virus cases, hospitalisations and deaths continue to fall.

The state has recorded another six virus deaths, with half in aged care, and 3750 new cases in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Monday. 

The outbreak peaked almost three weeks ago, with 514 patients in hospital and another 41 people in intensive care, including 20 on ventilators on Monday.  

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says with numbers of new cases, hospitalisations and deaths falling, the Queensland Disaster Management Committee is planning to scrap the daily COVID-19 media briefings.

She says the daily virus figures will instead be posted online at a set time, which is already the practice in other states.

“Well, I smile because we had that conversation this morning, you know, I think we are getting closer to be able to simply put the numbers up and report them at a consistent time every day, unless there is something out of the ordinary, or particularly important that we believe needs to be reported at press conferences,” Ms D’Ath told reporters on Monday.

“We’re not quite yet there yet, but I think we’re very close, if we continue to see this trend happening for the next few days. 

“But again, if the public really you know wants it then we’ll continue to report but I think we are getting close to that. I know many other jurisdictions have stopped doing their daily reporting a press conferences on this.”

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said that virus cases among five-to-11-year-old’s had not increased dramatically since hundred of thousands of children returned to school last Monday.

He said 963 were recorded among that age group in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Monday, with Dr Gerrard saying the immunity of children was unclear as many had been infected in early January.

“So what will happen this week will certainly be very interesting,” the CHO told reporters. 

“We’ll be watching that very closely, and again I’ll repeat that we had very significant numbers of cases in children three weeks ago, which have been coming down, so the degree of immunity in school aged children is still not clear. 

“So exactly what is going to happen over the next week or two among children in school isn’t clear, but we’ll learn in the next few days whether numbers do or do not increase.”

Ms D’Ath said the number of Queensland hospital and ambulance staff isolating with COVID-19 or quarantining as close contacts had fallen to 1745 from 1817 on Sunday.

The latest figures show 92.36 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had at least one dose of a vaccine, 98.31 per cent had had two, and 61.59 per cent have had a booster.