1.25M Queenslanders expected to get coronavirus

 

Queensland's Chief health Officer has warned the state is anticipating a quarter of all Queenslanders to be infected with the new coronavirus, as the number of cases jumps to 35.

Eight overnight diagnoses, including the first two outside the southeast corner, marked the biggest jump in cases during the outbreak so far.

It comes as Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy advised COAG to ban mass gatherings.

Professor Murphy told participants, including prime minister Scott Morrison, that gatherings over 500 people should be banned.

Dr Jeannette Young said based on overseas modelling, Queensland was preparing for 25 per cent of the population to be infected with COVID-19 over a six-month period.

She said 80 per cent of those would have mild disease.

The news comes as a staff member from Virgin Australia was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Virgin confirmed the staff member's role was cabin crew and may have been in contact with the public while in the role.

 

 

The staff member is now in isolation and is receiving medical treatment.

Earlier a Virgin Australia spokesman said the company could not disclose the gender, age or location of the staff member due to privacy reasons.

But Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah has since confirmed he has spoken to the female cabin crew member.

"I have spoken to her and she's in good spirits and is in isolation as we speak," he said.

Mr Scurrah declined to provide details about the woman, citing privacy concerns, but said she had been overseas.

"I can't confirm much more than that," he said.

Health authorities are now contact tracing anyone the person could have been in contact with while infectious.

The Virgin Australia spokesman said, "we are in regular contact with all of our team members to provide them with the latest information around COVID-19 as well as proper hygiene practices and cleaning."

"In order to protect the privacy of our team member, we cannot provide any further detail."

The airline also announced this morning it would cut flights, freeze some spending and ask staff to take leave as it responds to the growing coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile, Queensland has had another eight cases of the new coronavirus overnight. One of the new cases is in Kingaroy and another is in rockhampton, the first to be recorded outside the state's southeast.

Contract tracing is underway.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said more than 1000 tests for COVID-19 were being conducted daily.

The state's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told media Queensland's tally of COVID-19 diagnoses had risen to 35.

She said Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young would provide details later today.


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