War room activated as Qld goes into code red

 

FOR the first time since the 2011 floods, state leaders will meet nightly in a "war room" to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

A code red was just issued meaning Queensland's disaster co-ordination committee has ramped up its response to the crisis.

It means Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and police fire emergency services chiefs will meet every afternoon.

"This is the right response right now,"" Lord Mayor schrinner said.

 

It comes as seven new cases of coronavirus are confirmed in Queensland.

This brings the state's total to 68, including a 77-year-old Noosa woman who died in Sydney on Friday.

Health Minister Steven Miles on Monday afternoon said none of the cases were in intensive care.

The Minister took aim at people stock piling food and other items.

"If you are buying everything on the shelf just because you can afford to, that is selfish," he said.

"It is selfish because there are other people who can't afford to and will go without that food or those essential supplies because you have bought them.

"That's not what Queenslanders do."


Mr Miles said as more cases were recorded, more people would be treated at home.

"Most people, 80 per cent of people, will have very mild symptoms, something like a common cold, so it's entirely reasonable, it's better for them, it's of course better for our hospitals too if we can treat them in their homes," he said.

"We've treated the early cases in hospital because we could, because we had that capacity, but also because it gave us an opportunity to observe the virus, observe how people responded to it."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Government was seeking advice about the upcoming local government elections, which at this stage will go ahead as scheduled on March 28.

The Premier said restricting domestic travel was not being considered at the moment because it's low risk.

 

Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk is seeking advice about the local government elections. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk is seeking advice about the local government elections. Picture: Dylan Robinson

 

Whether or not schools shut is being considered by the national cabinet, while the State Government is looking at various legislative changes including what constitutes a mass gathering of over 500 people.

Asked what measures were being considered to protect indigenous communities, the Premier said it was being discussed at the national cabinet tomorrow night and couldn't go into further detail.

Ms Palaszczuk called for more clarity about visitation at aged care facilities and said protecting the vulnerable was the top agenda item.

 


It comes as a Brisbane aged care facility has closed down as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mercy Community Aged Care Nudgee today closed at 8am, with no visitors allowed to the facility for the foreseeable future.

It is unknown at this stage how long the centre will be closed for, with some activities involving larger groups also being cancelled.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles says people stockpiling food and other items were being “selfish”. Picture: John Gass
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles says people stockpiling food and other items were being “selfish”. Picture: John Gass