AMAQ President Dr Chris Perry at the headquarters in Kelvin Grove.
AMAQ President Dr Chris Perry at the headquarters in Kelvin Grove.

‘Hard to imagine’: Medical chief on councillor’s Covid claim

ONE of the state's top doctors has described Fraser Coast councillor James Hansen's doubts over the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic as "hard to imagine".

It comes after the councillor referred to the outbreak as 'crowd control' and a 'wank'.

AMA Queensland President Dr Chris Perry said it was disappointing to see the comments from an elected member of the Fraser Coast community.

"With the number of coronavirus infections and deaths continuing to rise globally, it's hard to imagine how anyone could doubt the impact of this disease," he said.

"We still have a lot to learn about this virus and how to manage it in our community.

"But we have had more than enough evidence to show it is both highly infectious and deadly for many people including our older members of the community and those who have compromised immune systems."

Dr Perry said the situation at Newmarch House nursing home in western Sydney was evidence of how deadly the disease could be.

Of the 102 residents at the nursing home, 37 contracted the virus and 19 died.

Dr Perry said the numbers illustrated how high the mortality rate could be, with 40 per cent of those who contracted it in the nursing home dying from the virus.

Cr Hansen made the comments on his personal Facebook page where he also said COVID-19 deaths were "sad but in compared. (sic) to how many die from the flu, it's a wank".

He told the Chronicle it was his 'personal' opinion but he was "happy to work within the guidelines set down".

Dr Perry warned the extra risk of the disease in the region due to the high number of retirees.

"While there may be minimal cases currently in a regional area such as the Fraser Coast, this does not mean that the community should let its guard down," he said.

"It can take just one new case to turn the situation around overnight.

"It's a wake-up call for people to stay vigilant - to keep washing their hands, keep socially distancing and to follow the advice that's there to protect us all.

"While there's particular concern about the older members of our community, we need to remember anyone can die from this virus, including young people."

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