And she has every right to be.
- Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared Greater Sydney a coronavirus hotspot after Queensland recorded three new coronavirus cases overnight.
Two of the cases — both 19-year-old women — tested positive after a recent trip to Victoria and did not go into quarantine.
One of the women works as a cleaner at Parklands Christian College, south of Brisbane, forcing its closure today.
Ms Palaszczuk said there would be a “thorough police investigation” into how the women avoided quarantine after visiting hotspots.
“I’m absolutely furious that this has happened,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“These two people have gone to Victoria, have come back and have given misleading information to authorities.”
- A criminal investigation is underway into how two 19-year-old women returned from Victoria and did not go into quarantine.
Let’s recap for a moment.
First we heard of a part-time cleaner, a 19 year-old woman, working at Parklands Christian College in Logan, south of Brisbane who had tested positive to COVID-19 after returning from Victoria via Sydney on 21 July.
Then we heard that she was accompanied by another 19 year-old young woman, and it appears they may have falsified their documentation to avoid quarantine.
Now it appears that they both have the virus, and are currently being treated in the Princess Alexandra Hospital. At least one of them mixed freely with the public while symptomatic. Depending on what a police investigation finds, they could spend six months in jail.
This list of where they have been was derived from Deputy Premier Steven Miles’ Facebook:
Between 21 July and 28 July 2020 a confirmed COVID case visited the following locations:
• Parklands Christian College, Park Ridge
• Madtongsan IV Restaurant, Sunnybank
• Heeretea Bubble Tea, Sunnybank
• Primary Medical Dental Practice, Browns Plains
• Thai Peak Restaurant, Springfield
• Cowch Desert Bar, Southbank
• P’Nut Street Noodles, Southbank
• African Grocery Shop (Station Road), Woodridge
• Primary Medical and Dental Practice, Browns Plains
• Chatime Grand Plaza, Browns Plains
• YMCA Chatswood Hills Outside School Hours Care, Logan
If you’ve been to any of these places and are feeling unwell you need to go and get tested and isolate until you get your results. We’ve set up a bunch of new pop up clinics in and around Logan.
You can check out the list at Third coronavirus case in Queensland confirmed with list of locations in Logan and Brisbane released.
I think that was just Olivia Muranga (see below), but already we have restaurants, a shopping mall, plus they say a church, in six suburbs and Southbank. Not forgetting two plane flights. The main point of that article was the news of a third coronavirus case, a 22 year-old woman who was a contact of the other two, who worked at YMCA Chatswood Hills Outside School Hours Care, which is associated with Chatswood Hills State School.
So there is now a mountain of contact tracing and testing to be done.
- Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said the state’s public health unit was doing “precisely what needs to be done”.
“There will be extensive testing and contact tracing is straight out of the playbook, of course, that NSW is using, that we endorse nationally,” he said.
As long as we are copying NSW, that’s OK then, because apparently people north of the Tweed can’t work out stuff themselves.
as a precaution aged care facilities in the Metro South region would be locked down.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the lockdown would include being closed to visitors, enhanced screening of staff, and that staff would not be allowed to work across multiple facilities.
Anywhere these COVID carriers have been is being shut down for at least 48 hours for deep cleaning and contact tracing.
At the same time Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared Greater Sydney a coronavirus hotspot.
Looking at the politics of what has happened, just this once we did not have a microphone poked in front of the nose of LNP leader Deb Frecklington. For some time now on the virus, whatever Palaszczuk says Frecklington will say the opposite. So she has been calling for open borders.
On this one, most north of the Tweed are likely to back the Premier, except for those who never do.
Just in, the Courier Mail with Fury as latest COVID-19 cases put Gold Coast at risk (not pay-walled). The CM has identified the pair on the front page:
Apparently Muranga went to work on Wednesday and Thursday (that would be 22-23 July), called in sick on Friday, then visited the doctor on Saturday, when she was told to immediately get tested. That happened on Monday, with a positive result on Tuesday. She was very active in the community on the weekend and at least through until Tuesday.
The second was Diana Lasu, who tested positive on the Wednesday. The third case was a contact of one of them, the CM said sister.
Seems there was a third travelling companion, awaiting COVID-19 test results.
All this raises the issue as to whether we should go for suppression or elimination.
Doctor James Trauer, Head of the Epidemiological Modelling Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University told Linda Mottram that you do have to choose, and the difference is not so much in what you do as in the timing. Victoria fell between the two, because they did not hold the count at zero for long enough.
I’m doing a post on this, the full story is a bit more complex than that. Queensland has had no community infection for the best part of two months. This case shows how the defences can be breached. However, the alternative may be to attempt to live like NSW, except to consistently distance 1.5 metres and wear masks like Victoria.
It is not an easy choice.
The short story is that every political entity responsible for health has to choose a strategy that fits their circumstances and health facilities. The Gold Coast is a special case. A city with a population of over 600,000 with around 10 million visitors each year, it is a people magnet, especially for Victorians. At the same time, according to information published in the CM a couple of months ago, fully 48% of the city’s visits came from inside Queensland pre-COVID.
Turning the Gold Coast into a COVID hotspot would be a nightmare.
On the border, from memory, some 10,000 people live in NSW in Tweed Heads, south of the border and north of the river. At the outset Palaszczuk says she asked Gladys Berejiklian about moving the checkpoint south to the river. Berejiklian says she was never asked.
Palaszczuk has now written to her, but I think is not expecting a positive response. I wonder whether Qld police would have any jurisdiction operating on NSW soil.
In any case, the road was not designed to host a checkpoint.
So we muddle on.