Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Queensland records four new alpha-strain COVID-19 cases

Queensland has recorded four new local Covid-19 cases. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new cases were linked to known infections and had been confirmed as the Alpha strain of the virus.
“Even though the numbers might seem a little bit large, it is good news,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she did not believe the Delta variant was circulating in the community, which was “excellent news”.
“It is now two weeks since the Portugese restaurant outbreak. At this stage, it’s all systems go. We are feeling pretty good at where we are at the moment and we just need everyone to keep doing the right thing.
“It is really important that everyone continues to wear their masks, they check in, using that QR code, wherever they go outside to restaurants and cafes and venues.”
There were 13,588 tests conducted across the state yesterday.
Of the new local cases, the first infection is the person of interest reported late yesterday, who was a close contact of a worker at the Greek community centre in Brisbane.
The second case is a child of that worker and the third is the partner of the case who travelled to Eumundi, on the state’s Sunshine Coast.
The fourth case is a colleague of the infected person.
“The last one is a significant case because our contact tracers have done some good detective work,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Transmission site confirmed

A Greek restaurant has been named as the likely site of transmission to three of the state’s mystery cases.
Dr Young said the cases all attended the Zeus Street Greek Kitchen at Westfield Chermside in Brisbane at the same time.
“We know that the case at Aruna, remember that gentleman in the southern part of the Sunshine Coast, the gentleman who went up to Eumundi and the Prince Charles Hospital worker all attended that restaurant,” she said.
“We think that is probably the site of transmission.”
There are 23 cases related to the Portuguese restaurant and the Greek community centre outbreaks.
“I haven’t found the exact link yet, other than the genome sequence between those two clusters, but we are just doing some more work there,” Dr Young said.
“That means this cluster of the Alpha variant is all coming together and we’re finding out where all the issues are.”

Pfizer vaccination patience plea

There are now 139,875 Queenslanders registered to get the Pfizer vaccine.
The premier said those people will get a booking for the jab, but they may not be able to get vaccinated until October or November due to supply issues.
“I just need everyone to be patient and if we do get extra supply in, Queensland Health will contact you and we will be able to move your appointment forward,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Our aim is to get everyone vaccinated safely and as quickly as possible but that depends on supply.”
Queensland will seek to build two quarantine facilities for international arrivals, one in Toowoomba and another at Brisbane Airport, Ms Palaszczuk said.

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