THERE have been no new local cases of COVID-19 detected in Queensland in the last 24 hours, as the state gains the upper hand on a small cluster in a Brisbane quarantine hotel.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed four new cases were detected in hotel quarantine but none were linked to the Grand Chancellor Hotel, where six cases of the highly contagious UK strain of the virus have been detected.
All 129 guests at that hotel have since been moved to other facilities where they will have to restart their 14-day quarantine to make sure they also haven’t caught the virus, which appears to have affected guests on floor seven.
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The four new cases, detected in arrivals from the United States and South Africa, are all in a different hotel from where the guests were moved.
Investigations into how the spread at the Grand Chancellor Hotel occurred are still ongoing.
226 staff at the Grand Chancellor have all been contacted and are being tested and isolated.
The majority of the 147 former guests, who stayed at the hotel since December 30, have also been contacted and tested.
406 close contacts of the infected cleaner and her partner have also been contacted, tested and isolated and, so far, none of them have tested positive.
Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, is hopeful they have managed to stop the virus from spreading into the community.
“I am very confident that we have found the close contacts of both the cleaner and her partner and because we had those three days that people weren’t leaving their home and people followed those instructions brilliantly, then I have very little concern that that spread in the community,” Dr Young said.
“So far we haven’t had any positives, which is good, but we all have to remember that 14-day incubation period.”
The Queensland Government is also considering a plan to quarantine returning international travellers in remote workers camps in the state.
“One of those options is to look at some of the mining camps that we have in Queensland,” the Premier said.
“Some of these mining camps are four-star. They are of a very good quality high standard.
“The ones we’re looking at have balconies, so there’s a lot of fresh air for guests and there’s the capacity for all of the staff and the cleaners and everyone to also be based on those sites as well.”
The Premier will put the idea to the Federal Government in the coming days and National Cabinet next Friday.
“It’s a matter for states and territories but I think with this new strain, we have to put all options on the table and these are sensible, rational options,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The Howard Springs works very well in the Northern Territory and there’s no reason why we couldn’t do something similar here in Queensland or if not around the country.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she isn’t sure camps are the best approach.
“I think we need to be really careful before we jump ahead to those type of decisions,” Ms Berejiklian told The Today Show.
“Often the disease transits more easily in a bus or in a small vehicle where you’re transferring people or when they’re in confined spaces for slonger periods of time.
“So you have to factor all these things in there.”