Queensland has recorded one new case of COVID-19 as the State’s top doctor warns our borders may remain closed even beyond September.
A woman in her 70s tested positive yesterday after developing mild respiratory symptoms.
Officials say she had returned from India via Singapore two months ago, with contact tracing underway to determine where she contracted the virus.
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“At this stage we’re not sure whether that is a persistent case, or whether she’s acquired it here. We think it’s most likely that she acquired the case in India, but we’ll now have to do a lot of work to work through that,” Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said on Wednesday.
The State’s total is now at 1058 however just 12 of those remain active.
It follows a record day of testing on Tuesday with 4886 people swabbed.
Meantime Dr Young has defended the prolonged closure of Queensland’s borders, insisting we have to “remain firm” despite growing calls to reopen the State.
The Government’s roadmap out of the COVID-19 crisis had July as the likely date for interstate travel pending a review, with the Premier later flagging that September would be the more likely timeline.
The already struggling tourism industry has warned a prolonged border closure would seriously hamper efforts to rebound from the crisis and cost thousands more jobs.
Dr Young says while she’d like to give people some certainty, committing to a reopening date now would be “foolish”.
“I, of course, completely agree with the Premier that September is a far more realistic one so if the tourist industry wants a realistic scenario then they should be preparing for September,” Dr Young said.
“But I say to them that if everything went perfectly and it was possible that maybe, it could happen earlier, wouldn’t they also want to be prepared for that?”
However, she warned the reopening of the borders could easily be pushed even further out if things don’t go to plan.
“Having said that, I can’t even commit that September will be possible, it depends what happens between now and then and it depends on every single Queenslander because you have followed the most onerous restrictions possible, you have done such a fantastic job and that’s what’s got us to where we are.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is making no apologies, but says the border closure will be reviewed at the end of every month.
“Let’s be very clear, we’ve only just opened cafes to 10 people, I mean we’ve only just allowed our restrictions to ease, we have to make measured and responsible steps as we reopen our economy, recognising the health implications,” The Premier said.
Despite the uncertain future facing the tourism industry, Ms Palaszczuk insists it would always survive in Queensland.
“We have a robust industry, they are really hurting at the moment, I understand that, but I want to see Queenslanders supporting Queenslanders and in our roadmap it says very clearly, everything going well, fingers crossed that Queenslanders will be able to move right throughout Queensland.