Virus transmission warning: ‘Still too early to relax’
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has urged people living in the Ipswich region to be particularly alert to symptoms of the pandemic virus.
Despite Queensland recording its second day in a row of no new cases, Dr Young said "it's still too early to relax".
She remains concerned about the possibility of continuing community transmission related to Queensland's latest coronavirus cluster, advising people living in the Redbank, Redbank Plains and Goodna areas to get tested if they developed symptoms.
Of 30 active COVID-19 cases in Queensland, 24 are from the cluster's epicentre in the West Moreton and Metro South regions.
Dr Young's plea follows a public health alert issued for Hungry Jacks in the Redbank Plains Shopping Centre town square for five hours from 8pm last Tuesday, September 8.
"We have had an individual who was out … and could have infected people in the last 14 days," she said.
"I'm concerned about it, some ongoing risk of transmission, particularly around the Ipswich area."
Dr Young said Queensland Health was preparing to set up additional fever clinics in the region.
She said that as more was learned about COVID-19, it strengthened her resolve to protect Queenslanders from developing the disease.
"It is really important that we minimise the number of people who get this disease, not just the number of people who are going to die from it, but the number who get it," Dr Young said. "That is really, really important.
"That's why we have the very strict protocols that we have in Queensland for quarantine. This is about people not getting this disease.
"It affects every single cell in the body and leaves long-lasting problems for different organs in the body whether that be the heart, the kidneys, the brain, the lungs.
"We're seeing more and more people who get this infection don't fully recover."
Dr Young said people with the virus could also transmit the infection up to 72 hours before they developed symptoms.
"It's that person in the street, who is totally, totally well, if you spend more than 15 minutes close by with them you could end up getting infected," she said.
"We've seen that in NSW on public transport, which is why I've put out that message - if you can't socially distance it is time to wear a mask."
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said that in the past 24 hours, just 2934 Queensland samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 - well below the goal of 5000 to 10,000 tests a day.
"While we have zero cases overnight here in Queensland, the World Health Organisation has confirmed that globally in the last 24-hour period, we had more new cases of COVID-19 than on any other day throughout this pandemic," Mr Miles said.
"This thing isn't over. In fact, it hasn't even peaked yet. While sometimes it might feel like it's passed here in Queensland because we've done so well, we need to remember that globally, this pandemic is still getting worse, more people are still dying.
"Israel, for example, in a bid to deal with their second wave, have gone back into lockdown. Their residents will only be able to move within 500m of their homes for the next three weeks underlying just what could happen if we were to experience a second wave here in Queensland. That's precisely why we need to keep this virus out."