The Queensland government is hopeful that an outbreak of the UK’s mutant strain of coronavirus has been averted, as the state recorded three new COVID-19 cases overnight.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said two of the cases are travelers returned to quarantined hotels, neither of whom were at the Grand Chancellor hotel where the highly infectious strain had spread.
A case has been reported in Cairns, but it is a landmark case.
“So today we have no concerns about those three,” Palaszczuk said.
Mining camps as quarantine facilities
Palaszczuk said he will bring a proposal to use the mining camps as COVID-19 quarantine facilities to the National Cabinet next Friday.
“These investigations will continue to look for different options,” he said.
“A lot of work needs to be done there.
“We need to have these options on the table because as we know there is a lot of this UK strain circulating right now in the UK and parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and we need to make sure we have the best lines of defense here in Queensland. “.
‘Good news’ after the Grand Chancellor Hotel scare
Health authorities gave more good news today, announcing that there will be no further spread of the coronavirus as a result of a positive case at the Grand Chancellor Hotel.
All 129 people classified as “high risk” after transfer from the hotel tested negative.
In addition, the 147 people who left the hotel since December 30 have also tested negative again.
All 226 staff members have been contacted, but only a few have been evaluated.
“We are still working on that,” Ms. Palaszcuk said.
State health director Jeanette Young said she was confident authorities had prevented a possible hotel-related outbreak.
“I am increasingly confident that there is no ongoing spread related to that,” Dr. Young said today.
She said research on the spread of the mutant strain was being done over the next 24 hours.
“The police will continue their investigation and we can figure out what we have to do in the future,” he said.
Queensland’s Three New COVID-19 Cases
Health Director Dr Jeanette Young offers more details on the three new COVID-19 cases detected in Queensland overnight.
One is a man in his 60s in a hotel quarantine in Brisbane who returned to Australia from the Philippines, where he is believed to have acquired the infection.
The second is a man in his 40s who has returned from the United States and is also in hotel quarantine.
The third is a man in his 40s from North Cairns.
He returned from the Congo in September, when he spent 14 days in hotel quarantine, but tested negative at the time.
“But he had to get tested before he went back to work, so it’s a job requirement, and it tested positive,” Dr. Young said.
“It is totally asymptomatic, so we think it is most likely a persistent molt.
“We know that you can move up to nine months after testing positive.”
Today’s landmark COVID-19 case in a North Cairns man likely explains months of positive sewer results in North Cairns, Dr. Young said.
“If you remember, we’ve had quite a few of those and we haven’t been able to explain them,” he said.
“He lives in North Cairns, that’s the most likely explanation there.
“Now we are going to do more tests, just to confirm all that, but I am very sure that it will be a historical case and not contagious at the moment.”