Eleven days down, 17 to go: Qld stands firm on community transmissions

Queensland has confirmed that if NSW records a single case of locally acquired COVID-19 then it will be back to square one in its quest to have the Queensland border reopen.


NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (Photo: AAP Image/Marc McCormack)

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (Photo: AAP Image/Marc McCormack)

NSW has chalked up 11 consecutive days with no community transmission but the Queensland premier has set a benchmark of 28 straight days of zero transmission before the border reopens.

If that happens the border will be open on November 1, the day after the Queensland election, but Annastacia Palaszczuk says the two events are not related.

When asked if a single case of community transmission in NSW would lead the count in NSW to restart, she said it would.

“That’s my understanding, according to the chief health officer – yes,” she told ABC TV on Wednesday.

On Tuesday a frustrated NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she doubted NSW could go 28 days without a single infection.

“Does that mean that they’ll open the borders and we’ll get a case and they’ll close again? You can’t live like that,” she said.

Victoria has recorded six new coronavirus cases and two deaths, bringing the state’s death toll from the virus to 809 and the national figure to 897.

The figures, confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, brings Melbourne’s 14-day case average to 9.9, a drop from 10.6 on Tuesday.

Melbourne’s number of mystery cases between September 21 and October 4 sits at 12.

The city needs a 14-day average of five cases and no more than five mystery cases during the same period to further ease restrictions on October 19.

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But a growing outbreak linked to a Melbourne butcher shop continues to trouble authorities.

Meanwhile NSW Health’s Dr Christine Selvey on Tuesday urged people with symptoms to get tested, particularly in the Hawkesbury and southwestern Sydney areas, after sewage surveillance detected the virus at the North Richmond and West Camden treatment plants.

The most recent cases in the West Camden catchment were reported last month but no one living in the North Richmond catchment had recently tested positive.

“Virus fragments in sewage can mean active cases but people can continue to ‘shed’ virus genetic material for some weeks after recovery,” Selvey said.

There were 5385 tests conducted in NSW in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 4789 the previous 24 hours.

NSW Health maintains at least 8000 people should be tested every day.

NSW Health is treating 50 COVID-19 cases, including three in intensive care, none of whom are being ventilated.


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