Qld records deadliest day of pandemic with 16 lives lost

Queensland has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic, with 16 deaths and 15,962 new COVID-19 cases recorded over the past 24 hours.

Three people were aged in their 70s, eight were aged in their 80s, four were aged in their 90s and one was aged over 100.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said nine were from residential aged care facilities across the state.


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“Four had not been vaccinated, two had one dose, ten were double vaccinated and none had a third vaccination,” Dr Gerrard said.

“Our thoughts are with their loved ones today”.

There have now been 45 deaths in Queensland since the latest COVID-19 wave began on December 13, with only one of those triple-vaccinated.

“The virus does seem to be finding older people who have not received that third dose,” Dr Gerrard said.

There are now 819 people being treated for the virus in hospital, with 50 in Intensive Care and 18 on a ventilator.

It’s a significant rise on yesterday’s hospitalisation numbers of 702.

Of today’s positive results, 5984 were reported from rapid antigen tests, with the remaining from PCR tests.

The State’s top doctor has warned numbers will continue to rise, with Queensland still yet to hit its peak of Omicron cases.

“We are preparing for thousands of cases,” Dr Gerrard told reporters on Tuesday.

The Gold Coast is expected to be the first region in Queensland to reach its peak, which is predicted to happen within the next week.

As a result of the latest outbreak, the State Government has announced only two visitors at a time will be allowed in hospital wards from today.

While just one person, aside from the patient, will be allowed in emergency departments.

Meantime, the State’s Health Minister has responded after Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate yesterday criticised the Government for failing to secure enough Rapid Antigen Tests.

The Mayor revealed he had received “several offers of large volumes of Rapid Antigen Tests” and questioned why it was so hard for the State to get their hands on some.

“Last week, I had an offer of 350,000 RATs from within Australia, all at a competitive retail price,” Mayor Tate said.

“I’m not trying to put myself in their position or make decisions that are outside the remit of local government.

“I am simply encouraging both levels of government to think outside the box,” he said.

Mayor Tate has written to the Premier to offer City support to find a solution, however, Minister D’Ath today urged the Mayor to “pick up the phone”.

“My question is are these tests approved by the TGA, if they’re not then there’s no point having that conversation,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.

“If Tom Tate’s got access to a ready supply, he can pick up the phone and we’ll have the conversation.

“But I’m not just going to hand over money to Tom Tate… We will hand money over to suppliers for the test, but I’m not handing money over to Tom Tate to provide them for us.”

There are now 91.59 per cent of people in Queensland who have received at least one COVID-19 jab, while 88.72 per cent are fully vaccinated.