Qld mystery case spooks health expert

Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young on Monday reassured the state’s capital that a lockdown was not yet necessary despite the discovery of a mystery masseuse case who was infectious in the community for 10 days.The 55-year-old woman from Fitzgibbon was behind a slew of new exposure sites across Brisbane’s north, including supermarkets, cafes, and six massage businesses where she worked.Dr Young said a recent spike in testing – and the infected woman being fully vaccinated and her household contacts returning negative tests – had given her some comfort even after previously stating one unlinked case could be enough to force the state to lock down. Mater Foundation director of infectious diseases Paul Griffin on Tuesday backed the state’s testing regime but added that officials should be taking the case “very seriously”. “The trouble is those mystery cases,” Dr Griffin said. “We don’t know how this person got it or if other people were infected by the source of this person infection. And we don’t know how far this person might have spread. “There could be more cases out there, and that is why we need to focus on testing.”There are 26 active cases of Covid-19 in Queensland after three new cases were announced on Monday. Two were detected in hotel quarantine.Stage 2 Covid-19 restrictions are in effect for Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan, Townsville and Palm Island and will remain in place until next week. Meanwhile, Australian Medical Association Queensland president Chris Perry on Tuesday added to the speculation that Queensland might not reopen even if it reached the 80 per cent double-dose vaccination target flagged by national cabinet. The Queensland government has been reluctant to commit to a border reopening at 80 per cent, with a key concern being a lack of federal support for the state’s health system. Dr Perry said “both sides” of government had contributed to a chronic underfunding situation. He also expressed concern over the readiness of the state’s health network to handle an increase in cases. “The data, or the evidence that you should open at 80 per cent, isn’t strong,” Dr Perry said.“We’re seeing three countries – Israel, Denmark and Singapore – open early in the low 80s and then having to close down. “It’s somewhere between 80 per cent and 90 per cent they’ll need to open. We need to get the tourism industry and the arts back on their feet. “But I’m not sure that we need to open up at 80 per cent.”

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