Minister for Health Steven Miles at the Bundaberg Hospital.
Minister for Health Steven Miles at the Bundaberg Hospital. Mike Knott BUN030719MILES5

Qld to get stronger health emergency laws

QUEENSLAND authorities will soon have more time to force anyone suspected of having the deadly coronavirus into isolation.

Health Minister Steven Miles is rushing new laws through parliament to extend his existing health emergency order from one week, to three months.

The move will give health officers more time to require the quarantine or isolation of suspected coronavirus cases, and force people to undergo medical checks and tests.

"These are strong powers but they are necessary in these circumstances," Mr Miles has told ABC radio.

"We've managed to keep Queensland pretty safe from the coronavirus so far, but it is spreading very widely in China."

Under the laws, people can be formally required to stay at a certain location, such as their home, and ordered to stay away from other locations, such as schools.

The changes will be dealt with on Tuesday, the first parliamentary sitting day of 2020.

So far there are 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia, including two in Queensland.