40 new COVID-19 cases in Qld
QUEENSLAND today recorded 40 new Coronavirus positives taking the state total to 184, but Central Queensland’s tally remained at just one case.
Health Minister Steven Miles said most of the new cases were in the south-east and there was no treatment, nor a vaccine, for COVID-19.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said these were “unprecedented times” and called for people to execute social distancing over the weekend.
She likened the impact of COVID-19 to that of ‘30 cyclones’.
“Let’s all be sensible and do the right thing,” she said.
“Now is not the time to have a big weekend.
“Everyone needs to take this absolutely seriously.”
The latest confirmed cases came from Brisbane Metro South (13), Metro North (12), Gold Coast (9), Sunshine Coast (3) and Mackay and Wide Bay with one each.
A further case and its location was to be confirmed.
Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said Queensland was testing every potential case, even if the symptoms were mild.
But she stressed only people who had been overseas and had developed symptoms, or someone who had been in contact with a case and had developed symptoms, or a health or aged care worker who had developed symptoms, were being tested.
Remote indigenous communities on Cape York have been put into lockdown to shield them from deadly COVID-19 infections.
Ms Palaszczuk also said boarding school students across Queensland may be flown home on chartered flights by the State Government so they can be with their families during the coronavirus crisis.
She said grandparents needed to stay away from their grandchildren and urged everyone to protect those most vulnerable. Her message to the public was clear.
“No more than 100 people in indoor gatherings,” she said.
“This is about social distancing. This is about being physically away from every other person.
“Now, I know many of you would be thinking, it’s a Friday afternoon, it’s beautiful weather, I’m going to go and have a big night out.
“Well, guess what? Now is not the time to do it.
“I’m sorry to the pubs out there right across the state.
“I don’t want you to be having a big night out this weekend to anybody.
“This is the time now, we need everybody, go home, be with your family, sit on your back deck, have a glass of wine, spend time with your kids, talk to your friends.”
A 60-year-old man from the Brisbane region remains in isolation in Rockhampton Hospital after coming into close contact with a woman, 56, who was a confirmed COVID-19 case on March 12 after travelling to Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Australia’s banking system will be flushed with $105bn in cheap cash, the biggest stimulus in the nation’s history, after Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe pledged on Thursday to do “whatever is necessary” to shield businesses and households from the COVID-19 economic shock.
Dr Lowe announced a sweeping package to lower funding costs across the economy and support the provision of credit to small and medium-sized businesses, including the provision of at least $90bn to lenders via a three-year facility at a fixed rate of 0.25 per cent.
This came after the RBA slashed interest rates to a record low 0.25 per cent on Thursday.
Across Australia, there are 877 cases and seven deaths.