Queensland has recorded another 3,587 COVID-19 cases as the virus continues to spread across the state.
There are now 16,688 active cases right across the state.
“This number is probably a little bit smaller than we have expected,” Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said on Sunday.
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“It probably relates to testing occurring over the holiday period.
“So it won’t be a surprise at all if, in the next couple of days, we see a significant increase in cases as more samples are tested and more people come forward.”
Five people are now in intensive care in hospital, however none of the patients are on ventilators.
“Clearly the disease we are seeing now is of a severity that is significantly less than was seen prior to vaccination worldwide and in Australia,” Dr Gerrard said.
“With 16,688 active case and only five people not on life support in our intensive care units, that number is quite low indeed.
“The issue we are facing though, of course, is that with the degree of contagiousness of this virus, we are going to be seeing very large numbers of cases.
“Even through the severity is clearly going to be less we are going to see very large numbers of cases and a small proportion of a very large number is still a large number.”
Of the five people in ICU, two are pregnant women, one is vaccinated and the other is not.
“This reminds up that it is critical that pregnant women or women who are planning to get pregnant get vaccinated because the virus is not good for the pregnant mother nor the unborn child,” Dr Gerrard said.
“There is now clear evidence that vaccinated during pregnancy and when you are attempt to get pregnant is very safe.
“There is a very good chance that pregnant women, in the coming weeks, will be exposed to the virus in Queensland.”
Treasurer Cameron Dick said it was important people remained vigilant.
“As we enter a new year, we are entering a new battle against COVID-19,” he said.
“For two years our health system and the hard work of Queenslanders has lead to a world-leading defence against this insidious disease.
“But now we face the challenge of the virus as it continues to make its way through and across Queensland.”
He urged Queenslanders to continue coming forward to get vaccinated, work from home if possible and wear masks.
Masks are now mandatory in all indoor spaces including hospitality venues, hairdressers, nail salons, cinemas, stadiums and workplaces.
“We’re not planning to lock down, we’re not planning to shut down but we need to take care and caution,” he said.