Covid 19 coronavirus: Queensland, Victoria outbreaks grow

Queensland has recorded four new community cases of Covid-19, with all of those cases in quarantine throughout their infectious period and all linked to the Indooroopilly cluster that began when a high school student tested positive for the virus last month.

An additional case was picked up in hotel quarantine.

The new cases come on the first day of freedom for the state’s southeast, which was released from an eight-day lockdown on Sunday.

Cairns, however, was plunged into a snap three-day lockdown on the same day after a taxi driver was found to have been infectious in the community for 10 days.

The driver’s infection has been linked to a marine pilot who tested positive last week, and authorities suspect he contracted the virus while driving the pilot from his home to the airport.

A number of the taxi driver’s household contacts are also unwell and the man’s movements throughout the community has health authorities concerned.

“Given that this gentleman has been in the community infectious for ten days and given that he’s had two positive tests, both with very low CT values, which means a lot of virus, I think the risk is reasonably high,” the state’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said yesterday.

As a result, the far north city and Yarrabah local government areas were put into a three-day lockdown at 4pm.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who came out of hotel quarantine on Sunday morning following her trip to the Tokyo Olympics, said Queenslanders had done a “mighty job” to quash the outbreak in the southeast.

Nevertheless, she warned the state was “not out of the woods” and “extra precautions” would need to remain in force.

Continued restrictions in southeast Queensland include: home gatherings limited to 10 people; a cap of 10 people gathering in public spaces; and a cap of 20 people for weddings and funerals.

Given Victoria had been plunged into its sixth lockdown a week after it was released from its fifth, the Premier said Queenslanders “should be under no illusion” that the next outbreak could happen at any time.

“We are seeing this Delta strain take hold in countries all around the world. We have to go on what the best advice is about going hard and going fast,” she said.

Queensland recorded nine new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, with seven of those linked to the Indooroopilly cluster.

Victoria

Victoria has recorded 11 new community cases of Covid-19 today – the same number as yesterday.

Authorities said they were all linked to existing cases, but only one has been in isolation throughout their infectious period.

Despite the promising reported number, the state is still on alert today after a St Albans women and children’s hospital was identified as a new exposure site due to a positive case visiting the building.

There are now 103 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria and more than 9300 primary close contacts across the state as the number of public exposure sites grows.

The new cases come as state authorities rush to identify the links of transmission to the two clusters they’re really focused on: the Hobsons Bay cluster, which involves a woman in her 20s who teaches at Al-Taqwa College, and the Maribyrnong outbreak, which involves a man in his 20s who works in Derrimut.

Yesterday the state recorded 11 new cases, all of which were linked to previously confirmed cases, but none were in quarantine during their infectious period.

Premier Daniel Andrews warned that cases will continue to rise throughout the state’s sixth lockdown, which began on Thursday.

“Our system will be overrun if we don’t bring this under control,” he said. “We have it within us to continue to do this work, as tough and gruelling as it is, none of us have the luxury of pretending that this is over.”

Australia’s first drive-through Covid-19 vaccination clinic is now open in Victoria in what could be the first of many new pop-up hubs to expand the state’s rollout.

The site of a former Bunnings at 149 Barries Road in Melton, in Melbourne’s outer north-west, has been converted into the new centre.

It will administer up to 10,000 vaccines a week and will offer AstraZeneca from mid-August.

Talks are underway to boost the number of jabs with more drive-through clinics, including in regional areas, stadiums and shopping centre car parks.

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