No new local cases in Qld, restrictions on Brisbane hospitals extended

QUEENSLAND has recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, in a good sign a potential outbreak may have been avoided in Brisbane.

There have been no positive tests in any close contacts of the female doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital who contracted the highly-infectious UK strain of the virus from a patient she was treating.

“Out of the 400 contacts that we have, 58 per cent are negative so far which is wonderful news,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reports at the Gold Coast University Hospital on Tuesday.


However, restrictions on visitors at Brisbane hospitals, aged care homes and disability service facilities will be extended for a further 72 hours as authorities continue to monitor the situation.

A decision on lifting those restrictions will be made on Friday.

It comes amid fears people released from quarantine at Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor Hotel could have been exposed to COVID-19.

Genomic testing has confirmed the infected doctor had the same strain as two guests at that hotel, who had been staying on the same floor.

Deputy Chief Health Officer, Doctor Sonya Bennett said returned travelers who have been in the hotel, which has been placed into a 72-hour lockdown after an apparent outbreak, will have to have their quarantine stays extended.

Guests who stayed on the same floor as the two infected guests between the 5th and 9th of March will have their quarantine period extended by 14 days.

A review of CCTV at the hotel has, so far, uncovered no clear breach which could explain what caused the virus to spread between guests.

“We have not as yet identified any significant breach but that will keep being reviewed,” Dr Bennett said.

“This is a highly infectious virus, particularly in some people. You’ve heard the term “superspreaders”, and I think what we mean when we say that is that some people very readily transmit the virus due to a number of factors.”

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