Queensland has recorded a further 55 new cases of coronavirus, taking the State’s total to 743 as the Government announces a crackdown on those ordered to quarantine or self-isolate.
The overnight increase is higher than the previous two days but officials say the numbers are still relatively stable.
Of the new cases, 11 of those were on the Gold Coast, taking the city’s total to 147.
Currently there are 65 coronavirus patients being treated in hospital with seven in ICU.
Queensland Health has now tested 46,845 people with a positive test rate of just 1.6 per cent, below the national average of 1.88 per cent.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has today announced further measures to ensure people in quarantine or self-isolation are adhering to their order.
It’s hoped the move will not only limit the further spread of the virus, but ease the pressure on Queensland Health who are forced to contact thousands of people who may have come into contact with an infected person.
Since the end of January, 40,212 quarantine or isolation orders have been issued to Queenslanders.
Extra resources are being poured into monitoring those people, with Attorney-General Yvette D’ath to oversee the efforts.
People who flout their order could face fines of up to $13,345.
“This is really important, we need to be throwing everything we have at this to make sure we are helping Health to do this enormous job,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.
“They have a unit of 500 people doing contact tracing, so we will throw whatever we need at it, so any extra, additional resources, Dr Young needs, my Government will deliver.”
“This is a time for all of us who don’t need to be out and about to remain in our own home so we minimise the spread, that’s really important.”
The Attorney-General will be assisted by law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice to ensure compliance.
“We need the public to understand this, these are not voluntary orders. They are enforceable at law and they will be enforced,” Ms D’ath said.
“This is the only way we can save lives in this state, making sue that anyone who has received a notice to quarantine or isolate understands the significance of that order.
“We need them to understand, you can’t pop down to the shops, you can’t go out for a walk, you should not be leaving your home if you are on a quarantine or self-isolation order.”
Of the 743 positive tests, Queensland Health has contacted around 50,000 people who they may have come into contact with.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young says the crackdown is a really important step and will further limit the spread and ease pressure on Queensland Health staff.
“So we don’t have to contact trace those hundreds of people for each case, we will only need to contact trace for people in the home and for people who are out at work,” Dr Young said.