Qld resumes Covid surge with 784 cases

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday said she expects that number – which was a jump on Sunday’s 714 cases — to continue to rise in the coming days.Despite local case numbers resuming their upward trajectory, there are now only four people in Queensland hospitals needing treatment for Covid.That’s down from seven covid hospitalisations on Sunday, a trend chief health officer Dr John Gerrard credited to improved vaccination levels. Just one man, an 85 year old with other complications, is severely unwell with the virus in Queensland. No-one is in intensive care or on a ventilator. There are 900 people in home care. Ms Palaszczuk said she was confident the increased caseload would not overwhelm the state’s health system. Ms Palaszczuk also announced Queensland parents can now book Covid-19 vaccinations for their 5 to 11-year-olds, with jabs for this age group available from January 10. Monday’s figures come as frustrations bubble over huge testing lines at hospitals and private clinics and lengthy waits for PCR test results. The Courier Mail on Monday reported some residents had been waiting more than 100 hours for results, with a number of smaller testing clinics at a reduced capacity during the festive season.The extra stress on the state’s hospital system has been exacerbated by the fact more than 50 Queensland Health staff have contacted the virus, with a further 300 are in quarantine. There were 1479 new cases reported over the Christmas weekend – including 765 on Christmas Day. Treasurer Cameron Dick on Sunday said the state government had no immediate plans to change testing requirements for interstate travellers to cross the border even as NSW and Victoria struggle to process huge testing queues. Currently, interstate travellers must return a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival in Queensland. Mr Dick said this policy would be reviewed on January 1 at the earliest.More to come

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