Wednesday, October 20

Annastacia Palaszczuk blocks large Brisbane hospitals and elderly care after doctor’s Covid infection | Queensland


A Brisbane hospital doctor who tested positive for Covid-19 after treating two patients with the UK strain of the virus visited a cafe, a gym and a hotel hours before he developed symptoms, Health authorities confirmed. Queensland.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Saturday that contact tracing was underway after the positive test result prompted a swift closure of Princess Alexandra Hospital on Friday.

Palaszczuk said that all hospitals, elderly care services, disability services and correctional facilities in Greater Brisbane were now closed to non-essential visitors.

“The next 72 hours is quite critical to see if there is more spread in the community,” he said.

The state’s deputy health director, Dr. Sonya Bennett, said all patients and staff who may have been in contact with the doctor were being tracked, with some of them undergoing tests or going into quarantine.

She said the doctor had treated two patients in the early hours of Wednesday who had the UK strain of the virus, but it was not yet confirmed whether the doctor had that strain. He was wearing full personal protective equipment while treating the patients and genomic testing is underway to confirm if he has the same strain.

The doctor had worked another shift until Thursday afternoon, but had not shown any symptoms until Thursday night. He had worked in various areas of the hospital during his shift.

Three places visited by the doctor on Thursday were considered high-risk sites for the transmission of the virus.

The doctor had been at the Morning After café in the West End suburb from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM; Corporate box gym in Greenslopes from 5.45pm to 7pm and then Stones Corner Hotel from 7pm to 7.45pm.

Bennett, who said the doctor was feeling fine, said: “We know that gyms are high risk. Anyone who has been there after 7pm is asked to closely monitor the symptoms. “

One low-risk location was a McDonald’s in Coorparoo from 3:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.

Bennett said it had only been 36 hours since the doctor came into contact with the infected patients and then developed symptoms, illustrating the highly infectious nature of the virus.

But he said the risk to the community was considered low because of the relatively small window between contracting the virus and becoming symptomatic, and because the doctor had self-quarantined and tested early.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said 1,615 PA Hospital staff members had received their first vaccinations, but the infected doctor was not one of them.

Half of the 37,000 frontline workers identified for the first phase of the state’s vaccine rollout had already received their injections.

By next week, all frontline workers will have been vaccinated, he said.

D’Ath told reporters that further restrictions were unlikely at this stage.

“It is a very narrow window [between infection and the positive test], “she said.” That means this person was not in the community for days and days, visiting various sites. “

“All of this works in our favor.”

The general public does not need to wear masks, the prime minister said, but that would be evaluated on a daily basis.

Palaszczuk said the vaccine program had advanced vaccines for people in the Torres Strait due to increased infections in nearby Papua New Guinea.




www.theguardian.com

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