Deputy Premier Reassures Queenslanders Amid Omicron Strain Fears
A “cautious approach”
Queensland's recorded another doughnut day of community transmission but has reported five overseas acquired cases.
Currently, 86.17 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine, while 75.92 per cent are fully vaccinated.
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Meanwhile, health authorities are keeping an eye on more information that arises about the new Omicron variant and will take a “cautious approach” when and if the situation escalates.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles reassured that “nothing has changed at this moment”.
“As they always do, the Health Officials are monitoring issues around the world and if that should affect things here,” Mr Miles said.
At this point, the Queensland government are not looking to change the state's December 17 reopening target, or impose new restrictions, despite the threat of a new variant emerging.
On Sunday, Acting Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said there was no need to jump the gun.
“I can’t put a 100 per cent guarantee on anything,” he said. “But we’re watching, and at this stage, there’s no ... evidence to support a change in position.”
Instead, Dr Aitken said that closing Australia's border to non-residents from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, The Seychelles or Zimbabwe was “the safe way to do things until we know more about the virus”.
“At this stage, the pause is for 14 days, and for us, that works really well because we’re roughly about that time until we open up our borders,” Dr Aitken said.
“Two weeks is a reasonable period of time. We can certainly get information about transmission and severity of illness. We may need a little longer to fully understand the vaccine effects ... [but] we already know a thousand times more today than we did two days ago about the virus.”
- Dr Peter Aitken
Today's five cases were all detected in hotel quarantine from a "family unit" who travelled through Pakistan.
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