QUEENSLAND has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours but there are concerns about a positive COVID-19 case that has flown in from Victoria.
Victorian authorities alerted their state counterparts in Queensland about a woman, who previously tested positive, who had flown into the Sunshine State.
Genomic testing has revealed she has the highly infectious UK strain of the virus.
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The woman arrived into Victoria on the 26th of December from the UK. She was tested in hotel quarantine on the 27th and her results came back positive.
She was then isolated and completed her 10 day quarantine and cleared all her symptoms.
She was then granted permission to fly into Brisbane on Jetstar flight JQ570 from Melbourne at 11pm. Anyone on board that flight is now being urged to get a test and isolate until they receive a negative result.
The woman has since travelled to Maleny on the Sunshine Coast and has been staying with her parents, who are now being isolated and tested.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, said while the risks surrounding this case are low, they just want to be extra cautious.
“We got her tested here yesterday and she is still testing positive, so that’s why we are now following through with her contacts,” Dr Young said.
“The risk is extremely low, very, very, very low because she is right at the end of her potential infectious period, and with a normal variant, we would not be at all concerned.
“But because of this new variant, we are just being ultra cautious which is why we re-tested her when Victoria let us know that she had the new variant and we found that she is still excreting virus.”
Anyone who lives in the Maleny area is being urged to come forward for testing if they develop any symptoms.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the woman had followed the protocols in Victoria which weren’t as strict then as they are now.
“The scenario that we have now seen from this woman is leaving on Day 10, not having an exit test and, importantly, not having the genome sequencing known until after she was released,” Minister D’Ath said.
“That would not be occurring now.
“So in Queensland, every person who tests positive in Queensland for COVID, their genome sequencing is done at the same time and the results would be known before they are released to know whether they have the UK variant or any other variant.
“So we would know that before they are released and also we would be doing an exit test on anyone who has this other variant.
“We are pleased that these processes that are now in place and I understand that this has been agreed to nationally now as well.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said an extension to the lockdown in Greater Brisbane was still on the table despite no new cases today.
“We will assess that on the Monday but so far, so good,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Zero cases overnight is very encouraging.
“These are the crucial three days that we need.
“The whole country is looking at what happens here in that Greater Brisbane region because we know that this UK strain is incredibly contagious. This is the first time it’s been out in the community and it’s not to say it will be the last.”