Queensland has recorded yet another huge COVID-19 increase with more than 2,000 cases.
There were 2222 infections in the state during the last 24 hours, which is an increase from 1589 on Wednesday.
Watch an Australian epidemiologist SAVAGE Scott Morrison’s proposed COVID changes in the video player above
There are still no people in the intensive care unit with COVID-19 in Queensland.
There are 8596 active cases in the state.
Queensland is believed to have the highest percentage of Omicron cases in the country, with the variant accounting for 80 per cent of their cases.
NSW and Victoria also had their largest daily COVID-19 rise ever on Thursday with 12,226 and 5,137 cases, respectively.
Chief Health Officer John Gerrard warned that while the current caseload may seem high, the number of infections within a few weeks will be in the “tens of thousands”.
“That’s what a pandemic is about – a very large number of cases,” said Dr. Gerrard.
“But the good thing is that the vaccines work and they have clearly been shown to work.
“For those people who have not yet received their third dose … it’s crucial if you can go out and get it, the third dose vaccine.”
Dr. Gerrard warned that thousands of Queenslanders can expect to be tested positive in the coming weeks.
“The number of people we expect to be infected with the virus is very large,” he said.
“We do not want to stop the Omicron virus.”
He said most people who get the virus would not become critically ill.
“It certainly seems to be milder, not trivial, but a little bit milder,” he said.
For vaccinated Queensland residents, the symptoms are likely to be mild and manageable at home.
“We continue to receive reports of people as soon as they receive the message that they have COVID-19, call triple zero or call an ambulance to bring them to the emergency room or present directly to the emergency room – even if they have just mild symptoms, ”said Dr. Gerrard.
“I must stress that most of us will have mild symptoms if and when we get this infection, because over the next few weeks we will all know someone who has and there is a good chance that we well even can get it. “
But the authorities have virtually ruled out further shutdowns.
“We want to work with the communities, but it is not our intention to impose a lockdown,” said Dr. Gerrard.
“We have to keep moving, we do not want to stop the virus … there are some things we can do to slow it down a bit, masks are obviously critical.”
He also encouraged the community to work from home where possible.
Emergency National Cabinet
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today convene an emergency meeting of Canberra’s National Cabinet and propose a nationally consistent definition of close contact.
Australia’s chief medical officer will tell the National Cabinet on Thursday that close contact should be defined as someone who has spent more than four hours with a positive case in a household setting.
Professor Paul Kelly would not elaborate on how the threshold was reached when he was asked on Wednesday whether the transmissibility of the virus would endanger people who are together at shorter intervals in closed environments.
“The important principle here is that we need to focus on where the biggest risk is,” Professor Kelly said.
“(I) in almost every jurisdiction we have seen a long wait for people to get their results. Honestly, if you have to wait eight hours in a queue and then 72 to 96 hours to get a result, it does not meet any useful public health function and it delays proper clinical treatment. “
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia said testing laboratories were running at capacity and that staff were working under significant pressure with increased demand for PCR testing.
Morrison told reporters Wednesday that a pivot for rapid antigen testing would mean there would be a seven-day quarantine period for close contacts, which would end if the person issued a negative rapid antigen test on day six.
Another rapid antigen test would then be taken on day 12.
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– with AAP