QUEENSLAND has a fresh COVID-19 concern this morning after it was revealed an infected backpacker has spent several days out in the community.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said the man, who is an Australian resident from Western Australia, had recently completed a stint in hotel quarantine after returning from the Phillippines.
He left the Brisbane hotel on July 17 and became unwell a short time later before getting a test on July 26.
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“He’s been infectious in the community since July 22,” Dr Young confirmed.
“He has been staying at the backpacker’s hotel on Roma Street so we will now go and trace the people in the backpackers and others that the gentleman has been in contact with.”
Genome sequencing is being conducted to determine exactly how he acquired the virus.
Dr Young said she was concerned about the number of local cases creeping into the community.
“This is the 13th incursion of the virus into the community in Queensland over the last six weeks,” she said.
“So it is becoming increasingly concerning we are having these repeated incursions of the virus into Queensland.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath again called on the federal government to step up to the plate.
“Hotels are not built to be containing this sort of serious virus,” Minister D’Ath said.
“We need help and we need help in the form of more vaccines and we need it now.”
19 crew members onboard a bulk carrier ship have also tested positive to the virus after arriving in Australian waters.
Dr Young said the ship, which came from the Phillippines, sailed into Torres Strait waters on Monday and asked for a pilot, disclosing they had a lot of sick people on board.
A nurse was sent to the ship and 19 of the 21 crew onboard returned positive results.
The ship will now steam around to Weipa and the unwell crew will be taken to Brisbane to be treated in hospital.