The Queensland Opposition has called for Deputy Premier Steven Miles to be sacked, after it was revealed health officials knew a deceased Blackwater man repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 for three days before telling the panicking town.
30-year-old Nathan Turner died suddenly in May and initial swabs showed he tested positive to COVID-19 before a second test returned an inconclusive reading.
The initial test triggered a massive emergency response in the tiny town and also forced Mr Turner’s fiance into quarantine.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
It wasn’t until a week after a coroner’s autopsy that Queensland Health released a statement saying additional negative tests ruled out Mr Turner’s death being caused by COVID.
However, leaked emails show they actually knew those results 72 hours before the news was made public.
The Queensland LNP has now called for Mr Miles to “show some integrity and resign” after the bungle.
“Queenslanders cannot trust the Health Minister. He has shown that he is incapable of telling the truth,” Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said.
“The people of Blackwater and Nathan Turner’s family were lied to and put through three days of hell.
“Instead of apologising, the Minister doubled-down on his deception.
“He should quit and, if he doesn’t, Annastacia Palaszczuk should show some leadership and sack him.”
When questioned about the matter on Friday, Minister Miles continued to stand by his actions and those of Queensland Health.
“The right decision was made and that was to act on the basis of one positive test,” Minister Miles told reporters.
“The ramification here is some people got tested who maybe did not need to.
“Compare that to the ramification of discounting a positive test which could have been an outbreak in a small town.
“So i’ll stand by the decision thatthe Chief Health Officer made, the decisions that were made throughout that weekend and standby the communications that we gave to the community.”