Australia

Queensland awaits clues on future of latest coronavirus lockdown

Queenslanders will have a better idea on Friday if a lockdown in the southeast is likely to end, with authorities hoping for another day of no mystery cases.

The state’s COVID-19 cluster has been steadily growing – 16 new locally acquired cases were reported on Thursday.

But authorities have been able to link all of the new cases to the cluster centred on schools at Indooroopilly, Spring Hill and St Lucia, on the northern side of the Brisbane River.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said 12 of the 16 new cases in Brisbane have been in isolation for their entire infectious period.

“We’re very pleased to be able to report this encouraging progress, but the risk of this outbreak is still very real,” he told reporters on Thursday.

If every new case can be traced back to that cluster, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young can be more confident there are no undetected chains of transmission.

She is upbeat about the prospects of the lockdown lifting as planned on Sunday at 4pm.

“I didn’t expect we’d be so far in front of the virus,” she said.

“If we are able to get out of this on Sunday, it’ll be the quickest response to a cluster of this size anywhere.”

Authorities have also been buoyed by very high testing rates, with more than 50,000 Queenslanders turning out on Wednesday and again on Thursday.

Dr Young has urged all Queenslanders statewide to present for testing if they have any symptoms whatsoever.

A total of 79 cases have been associated with the Indooroopilly cluster so far.

COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered in 113 metropolitan community pharmacies in southeast Queensland from Friday.

With this latest group joining the state-wide rollout, there are now more than 330 community pharmacies delivering COVID-19 vaccinations to Queenslanders.

To find a local pharmacy to book a vaccination, click here.

With SBS News

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