Gold Coast nears Omicron peak as doctors warn of COVID naivety

Health officials are keeping a close eye on the COVID situation on the Gold Coast as it approaches its expected peak in cases with doctors warning that ‘COVID-naive’ people have been driving the city’s surge.

It comes as the city recorded another 1935 cases on Monday, taking the total number of cases to 29,408.

The Gold Coast accounted for around 13 per cent of the state’s 15,000 new cases on Monday as the city remains a hotspot.


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Local GP Dr Sonu Haikerwal says the quick rise in cases has astonished doctors with too many people not taking the threat seriously.

“We’ve had a very big surge in numbers and Gold Coast being so COVID naive and the whole of Queensland, it’s taken us by surprise because the speed of spread has been so high and this is the time we have the maximum number of people on the Gold Coast as well,” Dr Haikerwal told Nine.

“So we’ve gone from having to see 40 to 50 patients to over 300 patients in a day so it’s been a very steep rise, and on a background of Christmas holidays, staff leave and again staff getting sick themselves so it’s been a tricky few weeks.”

Queensland also saw a jump in hospitalisations with that increase largely centred around the Gold Coast.

There were 702 patients in Queensland hospitals as of Monday with 47 in ICU and 15 being ventilated.

But the Coast is also expected to be the first area in the state to hit its peak in cases before hopefully beginning to fall.

Health officials will use the Gold Coast’s COVID situation to gauge how things will play out across the rest of the state.

“We are expecting the Gold Coast to peak sometime in the next week or so, then Brisbane will follow shortly thereafter,” Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said on Monday.

“So looking at what happens on the Gold Coast, we will be able to predict to some extent what will happen in Brisbane in just a few days”.

Meantime, the Gold Coast’s vaccination rate has stalled with the city still lagging behind the rest of the state.

There is now 90.8 per cent of the city’s eligible population that have had their first jab, up from just 90.2 per cent last week.

The double dose rate has increased from 87.1 per cent last week to just 87.8 per cent.