Qld calls for Commonwealth to “step up” as COVID deaths in aged care increases

Queensland has demanded the Federal Government ‘step up’ and do more to protect people in aged care, as the Sunshine State records more COVID-19 deaths in aged care facilities.

Queensland recorded 10 deaths in the last 24 hours as well as 7,588 new COVID-19 cases.

Of the ten who died, two were aged in their 70s, four in their 80s and four in their 90s.


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Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said eight of those deaths were in aged care.

“We’ve recorded 107 deaths among aged care residents since this wave began after the 13th of December,” Dr Gerrard said.

“That’s out of the 202 we have recorded.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said she was concerned not enough elderly residents in aged care were being offered booster shots and would be writing to the Commonwealth today to seek more detail on vaccination rates.

“We don’t know how many had been visited for boosters and, most importantly, how many residents overall have received their booster compared to the total aged care population,” Ms D’Ath said.

“I’m hearing from people who say they are begging managers of aged care facilities to bring people in to vaccinate their loved ones for boosters.

“Sadly, that’s coming after, or at the same time as, they start getting COVID positive cases spreading throughout the facilities.”

Ms D’Ath said she would also write to the Commonwealth about workforce shortages and the supply of PPE gear and rapid antigen tests in facilities.

“In the last 7 days there has been 26 separate requests for emergency assistance to Queensland Health from the Commonwealth to supply residential aged care facilities with PPE and rapid antigen tests,” Ms D’Ath said.

“We have provided 788,000 pieces of PPE since the start of 2022.

“Although they will eventually reimburse us, that stock is taken away form our hospital and health services, even though they got a national medical stockpile.

“So there’s a lot of questions to be answered.

“These are serious issues that demand attention.”

Ms D’Ath said it was said the Commonwealth’s two payments of $400 to aged care workers was a “slap in the face”.

“I think it’s a bit cheeky of the Commonwealth continually standing up saying they’ve got a plan, that they’ve managed this

“When in fact, what they’re doing behind close doors is turning to the states and territories and saying ‘Here, can you sort this out for us?” when we’re doing everything possible to manage the COVID outbreak across our state, including in our hospitals.

“The Commonwealth has got to step up.”

Hospitalisations across Queensland remain steady with 868 people receiving treatment in both public and private hospitals.

50 people are in intensive care including 23 who are ventilated.