Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

An unvaccinated Gold Coast Uber driver has tested positive to Covid-19 – bringing an end Queensland‘s 15-day run of coronavirus-free days. 

The Broadbeach man in his 30s was infectious in the community for up to 10 days, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. He tested positive at Robina Hospital on the Gold Coast on Wednesday and was unvaccinated.

He is so sick with the virus it has been difficult to get information on his movements since he returned from a trip to Melbourne on October 10, it was revealed. 

The man had not used Queensland’s QR check-in system since September 18, making it difficult to trace his movements. 

It’s believed the man had also visited Sydney in late September. 

Queensland Police are currently investigating whether the man had tried to enter the state unlawfully after being turned away at the border. 

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

The Broadbeach man in his 30s was infectious in the community for up to 10 days after returning from a trip to Melbourne on October 10

‘This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,’ Ms Palaszczuk said. ‘The issue about this gentleman is that [he was] not vaccinated.’  

‘We are a little bit concerned about this person that has been infectious in the community and if you have any symptoms whatsoever, now is the time to get vaccinated.’

The new case immediately raised fears of a repeat of Sydney’s most recent Delta outbreak, which began with an infected limousine driver from the northern beaches.  

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

‘This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,’ Ms Palaszczuk said. ‘The issue about this gentleman is that they were not vaccinated’

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

No lockdown will be imposed on the Gold Coast as a result of the new case, Ms Palaszczuk said 

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

‘This is a man in his 30s… so sick that we are having difficulties talking to him and getting information from him,’ Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said of the Uber driver

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the man in his 30s, who lives alone at a resort complex in Broadbeach, developed symptoms the day after his return from Melbourne.

He became increasingly unwell before presenting to the Robina Hospital emergency department yesterday, where two separate tests confirmed he was positive. 

‘He is so sick. This is a man in his 30s. He is so sick that we are having difficulties talking to him and getting information from him,’ Dr Young said. 

‘We are working very closely with Uber to get information about whether he has had any drives during the time he was infectious. 

‘We don’t have venues at this stage because he is so sick and having difficulty communicating with us and difficulty remembering, as you can imagine.’

Uber were quick to issue a statement that said the man had not driven with the service since September 19.

‘We work with public health authorities in each state, and have processes in place to temporarily remove an individual’s access to the Uber app if authorities report an infection,’ it told Daily Mail Australia. 

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

‘We may also limit other individuals’ access to the app if health authorities advise there is a risk.’

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

The new case ends a run of 15 days in which Queensland has not had any community acquired cases of Covid-19 

She urged anyone who had been in the Broadbeach or greater Gold Coast areas since October 11 to monitor for Covid symptoms. 

‘It is really important, please use the QR check-in,’ she said.  

The infected man was later transferred to the Gold Coast University Hospital.   

Ms Palaszczuk said there were currently 156,000 people on the Gold Coast, 16 and over, who remained unvaccinated. 

A lockdown on the Gold Coast was not likely as a result of the new case because of the area’s relatively high vaccination rate, Ms Palaszczuk said. 

Queensland Health figures show more than 60 per cent of people in the Broadbeach area are fully vaccinated. 

Ms Palaszczuk was speaking in Mackay as part of a week-long tour to encourage vaccination rates in regional Queensland, where rates have been lagging.

The premier announced 73.21 per cent of the state had now received a first dose, while 58.07 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

, Queensland Covid case numbers: One new case sparks panic, Nzuchi Times National News

The Uber driver went to Robina Hospital emergency department yesterday, having become increasingly unwell following his return from Melbourne on October 10

Ms Palaszczuk identified a number of towns where she said vaccination rates were too low given the state’s deadline of a phased reopening by November 19 and a full reopening on December 17.

She mentioned Bowen at 48.4 per cent having received a first dose of vaccine, Moranbah at 46.5 per cent, Serena at 61 per cent and the Whitsundays at 63 per cent as places where rates were too low.   

‘We know Mackay and Proserpine and the Whitsundays are absolutely gateways for tourism,’ she said. ‘We know that, on December 17, there will be tourists coming from all around Australia so please go and get vaccinated.’ 

Queensland Health plans to turn 100 high schools into mass vaccination clinics across a number of areas of the state with lagging vaccination rates, including Mackay, West Moreton, Cairns, Townsville, Wide Bay, Central Queensland, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Metro South and Metro North. 

Yesterday Ms Palaszczuk urged regional residents to ‘hop on the lifeboat’ by getting vaccinated before the December 17 reopening date.  

‘I can’t look after you if you won’t hop in the lifeboat,’ she said at a press conference in Maryborough on Wednesday.

‘We need everyone to get on the lifeboat and we’ll be protected. We have 11 days to go to get everyone vaccinated.’  

Four additional cases were identified in hotel quarantine.