Qld Health tells thousands to stay home amid virus fears

QUEENSLAND Health has issued 2700 notices for people to voluntarily self isolate in case they have the new coronavirus.

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young today said every person had complied with the request and that more than 1500 people had now been tested. 

The number of people that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Queensland reached 13 yesterday after a man, 81, who recently returned to the Sunshine Coast from Thailand, tested positive.

A Brisbane woman, 29, who flew home from London, via Singapore was also diagnosed. 

Fifteen emergency department staff at Brisbane's Mater Hospital are also quarantining at home for 14 days after "potential exposure" to COVID-19.


Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young PSM. AAP Image/Richard Gosling
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young PSM. AAP Image/Richard Gosling

Queensland Health is still attempting to contact passengers from Emirates flight EK430 into Brisbane from Dubai on February 26 who sat near a 26-year-old man, who was diagnosed this week.

The State Government conducted training this morning which covered several scenarios including a regional based response to help prepare for a potential pandemic.

Asked about the potential closure of schools, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there wasn't a specific threshold. 



"We will take the advice of the Education Department and the Chief Health Officer when it comes to making a decision and what else is happening in that community," she said. 

Dr Young reassured Queenslanders the disease was being contained effectively and that panic buying of prescription medication was not necessary.

"No one should be panicking," she said. 

"This is another disease that is spreading through a community as we have with lots of diseases, we just need to be aware of it, be alert to it, and we don't want it to spread.

"We want to minimise its spread where we can because we know everyone is susceptible."

Dr Young said Queensland Health had seen an increased number of people using emergency departments but said it was good as it helped dictate where fever clinics were established. 

She said every hospital in Queensland had capacity to set up a clinic.