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After more than 8.6 million eye-watering PCR tests, 12 million jabs and 1 billion check-ins on the state government’s app – Queensland is set to take the next step in its COVID journey.
- Since December, Queenslanders spent the equivalent of 132,749 days in hospital beds with the virus
- 2,277 lives have so far been lost to COVID-19 in Queensland
- From November 1, the CHO will no longer be able to close the state’s borders, order lockdowns or require vaccinations for the wider public
The new figures illustrate the impact COVID-19 has had on the state, just days before the Chief Health Officer’s (CHO) powers are stripped back.
The data shows almost 500 public health directives were given to Queenslanders since the health emergency was declared – powers that are set to expire next week.
Since December, Queenslanders spent the equivalent of 132,749 days in hospital beds with the virus and since March Queensland Health has lost 300,000 staff days to isolation and quarantine.
Those working for the state’s health hotlines have taken more than 1.5 million calls.
But today just three people are in ICU with COVID-19 (compared to 54 when the virus peaked) and 92 people are in hospital (compared to 1,123 at the peak).
“Since reaching our vaccination targets and opening our borders, we have lost 2,277 lives,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
“I want to acknowledge the grief associated with each and every life lost. I know that grief is shared by our health staff.
“Our hearts go out to all of the bereaved families and friends.”
Ms D’Ath said modelling showed more than 10,000 Queenslanders would have died if there was widespread transmission before vaccination.
“The enormity of this undertaking is still something that I don’t think any of us can fully appreciate,” she said.
No more lockdowns
It comes just days before new laws take effect stripping the CHO of the COVID powers that were granted during the pandemic.
Those powers allowed the CHO to issue directives to protect people’s health, including being able to restrict people’s movements and limit physical contact.
As of November 1, the CHO will no longer be able to close the state’s borders, order lockdowns or require vaccinations for the wider public.
They will still be able to issue directives about masks, issue isolation and quarantine directives for up to seven days and mandate vaccinations for high-risk workers.
In total, over the course of the pandemic, the Chief Health Officer made 493 public health directives.
Ms D’Ath said those directives and the state’s compliance were pivotal in overcoming the virus.
“Thanks to the collective efforts of Queenslanders, we didn’t let the virus run rampant,” Ms D’Ath said.