Decision Looms For Australia’s Queensland Lockdown Lift
BRISBANE, Australia — A decision on whether the Australian state of Queensland’s lockdown will be extended is expected on July 2 as the state works to gain control over five unrelated Covid-19 incidents.
Five community cases have been recorded during the lockdown period so far, and authorities have warned the state is “not out of the woods yet” with current restrictions due to lifting at 6 pm.
Two of the new cases were reported on July 1 after more than 28,000 tests — an “encouraging” sign the state was getting on top of the virus spreading.
“We’ve still got another 24 hours to go … we’ll update you tomorrow in relation to whether or not we can leave that lockdown,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on July 1. Annastacia Palaszczuk is an Australian politician who has been the Premier of Queensland since 2015 and the Leader of the Labor Party in Queensland since 2012.
The state is separately managing a cluster linked to a Portuguese club, a Qatar Airways worker believed to be infected at the airport, the case of a miner who returned from the Northern Territory, and potential contacts of a Virgin crew member onboard several flights while having the virus.
While Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young is confident about each of the state’s Covid-19 outbreaks individually, she said managing all of them simultaneously “is a lot”. Jeannette Rosita Young is an Australian medical doctor and administrator who is currently Chief Health Officer of Queensland, and the Governor-designate of Queensland.
Young is also defending her advice for under the 40s not to get the AstraZeneca vaccine but wait for Pfizer, due to the extremely low risk of an extraordinarily rare blood clotting disorder.
“I have put my advice out there very, very clearly. Now, people need to work out where they want to get advice from,” she said.
Palaszczuk also denied her tweet falsely claiming that the UK government “won’t allow” under the 40s to get the AstraZeneca vaccine had been misleading.
She later tweeted a link to a BBC article citing advice in the UK for 18-39-year-olds to be “offered an alternative” to AstraZeneca “if available and if it does not cause delays in having the vaccine”.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said Young was giving health advice in good faith, but he accused the premier of misleading people about vaccines to score political points. The state’s lockdown covers residents of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, the Scenic Rim, the Gold Coast, Townsville, Magnetic Island, and nearby Palm Island until 6 pm on July 2.
(Edited by Vaibhav Pawar and Ritaban Misra. Map by Urvashi Makwana)